Linked by Imogen Howson

June 10th, 2013 Kimberly Review 54 Comments

10th Jun

by Imogen Howson
Series: Linked #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: June 11, 2013
Genre: Science-Fiction
Source: publisher
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.  Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

I was drawn to Linked by the cover and the concept of twins being connected enough that when one is harmed the other suffers too. Usually I have a good idea going into a novel what the story is about, and Linked surprised me. Yes, it’s about twins but its futuristic, we are talking Firefly here peeps! Despite a few issues, I enjoyed this original tale and the creative world-building. Three word review: interesting, original and entertaining.

We meet Elissa at the hospital and are quickly given her back history. She has been suffering from phantom pains, unexplained bruises and horrifying visions or hallucinations. Medication and therapy have failed and doctors want to take the next step and remove part of her brain. The weekend before her procedure she discovers her visions are true and the tale that unfolds has Elissa on the run to save herself and the twin she never knew existed.

I had a hard time connecting to Elissa and Lin her twin. While the author shares Elissa’s fears and thoughts something about her just kept me from truly connecting. Lin was the same way, while I knew when she was afraid; I never truly connected with her. This isn’t to say that the girls aren’t likeable, I just felt they weren’t fleshed out enough. They bicker amongst themselves, struggle with who to trust and even doubt each other. Elissa’s parents made the events that unfold seem real and genuine. The captain and his crew added to the tale and helped raise questions. There is a romance and throughout the novel we get subtle hints about the attraction. Then suddenly near the end bam it’s in your face. While, I believed aspects of it the sudden leap from A to C made it feel seriously cheesy. I would have preferred a slower build or none at all.

While I struggled with the characters and the underdeveloped side dish of romance, what kept me reading was the world Howson created. She really gave me a panoramic view of Elissa’s home planet and an epic adventure in space. From the homes to identity cards I found the world fascinating. The thread on twins and the revelations that unfolded about the government and their use for them was disturbing and original. The author made them feel plausible, sick but possible. She also makes you think about cloning, twins, and scientific advancements in an unbiased way. I though the pacing was ok, we spend a lot of time running and in-between we have these intense, made for movie action scenes. I am a huge Firefly fan and the scenes in space reminded me of some of my favorite attack scenes. I honestly think this tale would translate better on the big screen as far as the characters. The ending was good, and I was glad to see we avoided the dreaded cliffhanger. Instead the author gave us an expectation of what’s to come. While not without disappointed, I do think this was an interesting beginning.

Fans of science fiction and world-building will find Linked interesting. Shatteredthe next book in the series releases in July of 2014. I am hoping that the characters are further developed.

Two and half cups of coffee out of five

Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Caffeinated Book Reviewer
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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54 Responses to “Linked by Imogen Howson”

  1. Kimberly

    Aww it sucks that this one didn’t turn out as good as you had hoped. Hopefully book two will be better put together and I’m glad you’re willing to give it a try. I’m hoping I like this one but I’m going to go into reading it with a little less enthusiasm.

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  2. Michelle

    Ah another one? It seems like a lot of the fantastic looking books this year are falling short. I like the sound of it and I may read it, but I’m definitely going to hold off on it.

  3. GRgenius

    I’m liking your little three word review there. Very to the point but from the sound of it, accurate. ^_^

  4. Pnrurbfantasyreviews

    I just love this cover! The synopsis for this never really grabbed me, but since seeing your review, I think I could see it on the big screen, instead. Great HONEST review, Kim!

  5. Christy (Love of Books)

    This sounds like the type of book I’d like, and I don’t mind underdeveloped romance. But there has been something telling me not to read this. Was my intuition correct? Most likely. 😀

  6. Carmel

    I love Firefly! But I’m not sure I like the sound of underdeveloped characters, let alone love story…

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  7. Miss Page-Turner

    I added this to my Goodreads list, because the summary does sound pretty good to me. But I have to admit that I have a problem with twins in YA, don’t know why. Thanks for your honest review!

  8. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Aw… too bad. You really had me at Firefly which is FTW!! I do love a good world building but it can fall flat if the characters aren’t developed better. Oh and the leap from A to C would bother me as well. Hopefully it does get better as the series progresses. I’ve seen many series do that.

  9. kimbacaffeinate

    Thanks Maja, I really wish it were more balanced for me it could have gone from an OK read to a solid four if it were fleshed out and developed more. A lot of people connected with them though as some reviews are really favorable.

  10. Lauren

    AAAH Firefly is the BEST! Glad to hear this book reminded you of one of my favorite shows ever. 🙂 It’s a shame the characters and the romance weren’t better developed, but it sounds like the world is enough of a draw for me to give it a try. Wonderful review, thanks for sharing!

  11. Heidi

    I read Sam’s review of this and she was not impressed either. It seems this is another cover lust book gone wrong, right? I am glad at least the world building is good. I am relieved that I didn’t get this one even though I was lusting over the cover. Glad I didn’t get bitten in the butt.

  12. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Everyone is pretty much in agreement about the worldbuilding, but I don’t think that alone is enough to make me want to read this. Elissa’s condition at the beginning sounds very intriguing, so it makes me sad that it’s all just wasted potential. When you add to that an underdeveloped romance… well, no thank you.
    Gret review, Kimba.

  13. kimbacaffeinate

    We are not alone. Sam gave it a 1.5 and others DNF’d or rated low, but this is the nature of books. We all cannot love them every time!

  14. SweetMarie83

    Everyone seems to be loving this book and I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn’t! I enjoyed it, but I agree about not really connecting with Lissa or Lin. I personally thought the pacing was pretty slow, but the action was great. You’re absolutely right, it would make a great movie…for me it was meh as a book but I think it would make an awesome sci-fi/thriller movie. Great review, Kimberly!

    PS – I got a free trial of NetFlix for the month and I’m FINALLY going to watch Firefly – can’t wait! 😀

    ~Marie @ Ramblings of a Daydreamer

  15. Getty Hesse

    I haven’t seen Firefly yet, but I am a fan of both Joss Whedon and deep space adventures, so I intend to watch it soon. This book sounds interesting, and I love good world building, but how much lack of character development hinders my enjoyment of a book depends on the other qualities of the novel, so I guess I’ll have to try this myself.

    Getty Hesse

  16. kimbacaffeinate

    I hope you do too, maybe if you know going in they are annoying it will allow you to enjoy it. I did like the world and concept.

  17. kimbacaffeinate

    Between that and the full-blown insta-love I was really left wanting. I did struggle between a 2 and 3 rating on this, but the characters were annoy and underdeveloped so I fell in-between. I have seen everything from DNF to five star on this by all means read it. I would love to hear your thoughts.

  18. kindlemom1

    Every review I have read on this one so far has been about the same, that it was just really hard to get into and the characters were hard to connect to and a little lifeless.
    I am sorry you had a hard time with this one as well. The cover is gorgeous though so I know why you were drawn to it! Too bad the cover didn’t live up to the story.

  19. Jenea Whittington

    Sorry about the the character thing, maybe the next book will be easier for you to connect with the characters. I haven’t watched Firefly, but I am going to have to see what it is all about. 🙂 Great review.

  20. Christa

    I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book so I was surprised to see you only gave it 2.5 cups of coffee. But I can totally understand being frustrated by underdeveloped characters. May need to read this one and see which side I fall on.

  21. Jenny

    Well shoot Kimba! I had such high hopes for this one based on that beautiful cover. I agree with you completely though, I would rather have a slow build romance or none at all. I don’t do well with insta-love or a love that’s on the back burner before being suddenly thrust forward into the spotlight, and the latter seems to definitely be the case here. I think I’ll be passing on this one! Lovely review as usual though:)

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  22. Aurian

    I met Imogen a few weeks ago, and would like to read the book myself. But I do hope I will be able to connect with the characters if I do read it. The world building sounds awesome.

  23. kimbacaffeinate

    Brandi and Jenea both were able to connect with characters and the whole insta-love thing didn’t bother them, so read a few more reviews. I just found the girls annoying most of the time..LOL

  24. Nick

    Oh no! I had really high hopes for this one and I must say your review makes me want to give this a miss. As much as I love my sci-fi novels, it’s important for me to connect with the characters at first. It’s really too bad because the book definitely sounds original and entertaining.
    Great honest review, Kim!

  25. Book Swoon

    Well, I love great world building, sometimes as much the actual story, lol. So this sounds pretty intriguing to me. Of course the art really caught my eyes first. I really want to know more about the twins- going to keep my eye on Linked. 🙂

  26. Toni

    Hmm, well… I was drawn in by the cover too, of course. lol. I might still pick up a copy down the road, on sale. haha

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  27. thegeekyblogger

    I will have to see if my friend Wendy would like this one! I am not a huge fan of science fiction in literature (has to be done just right) but she downright loves it!

  28. Naomi Hop

    Oooh…. interesting review! It’s a shame you weren’t able to grasp all the characters properly, but enjoyed the world! I was drawn to the cover myself….

  29. Danny Bookworm

    hm even though this sounds interesting and I’m not excited to hear about the romance aspect. When a romance doesn’t makes sense it often totally turns me off …