Book: Company Town (Madeline Ashby)

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company town madeline ashby

Company Town

Madeline Ashby

Tor

Publishing May 17th, 2016

ISBN: 0857665367 (ISBN13: 9780857665362)

 
Hwa is one of the few people in the Company Town who doesn’t have any bio-engineered enhancements. Her mother didn’t consider enhancements worth the expense because the condition she was born with–Sturge-Weber syndrome–left her with a port-wine stain over much of her face and body, blind in one eye, and prone to the occasional seizure. Her mother is a sex worker, and to her, beauty pays the bills.

Instead, Hwa is a skilled bodyguard to workers in the sex trade employed by Belle Du Jour–that is, until she gets noticed by the Family who just bought out the oil rig the Company Town is built on. The Lynchs want her to protect their youngest son, Joel, from a threat his father has received against his life every year on Joel’s birthday. It counts down the years his son has left to live, and this year is promised to be his last. They hire Hwa to train and protect him.

Meanwhile, Hwa’s friends begin dying off, victims of a serial killer. Hwa intends to find out who is murdering her friends, but with the threat to Joel’s life threatening her own, she has to choose between saving Company Town and saving herself.

This well developed vision of a bio-enhanced future entertains, but also speaks to age old social constructs of beauty, identity, and perceived worth. Hwa is a well developed protagonist that isn’t the run of the mill, typical bodied ass kicker. She kicks ass, but for so many reasons other than just martial arts ability.

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JL JamiesonBook: Company Town (Madeline Ashby)