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Linked - Imogen Howson 3.7READ THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE PROCEEDING~You will be presented three series of images and asked a question after each one.~Briefly look over each image, do not worry about spoiler-ing yourself. But do worry about teasers.There are no right or wrong answers, only different ways of perceiving.This test will determine the level of the compatibility between you and [b:Linked|14999965|Linked|Imogen Howson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1350302061s/14999965.jpg|17352171]and me.First series-Q1.Do you feel the urge to pepper spray it all?a. Yes.b. No.Second series-Q2.Are you scared?a. Whoosh!*empty space*b. No.Third series-Q3.Do you see how awesome I am? 'Cause those are instances of my exploits.Q3. Loving it yet?a.*Still empty*b.*nodding head with deliberation*For mostly a's: Carry on, my wayward reader. Carry on. In the other direction, I mean.For mostly b's: I was just kidding. There are right and wrong answers and you are mostly RIGHT-->LIKE ME-->AWESOME!Disclaimer: There are more of the series question I won't present for fear of getting spoilerly. :C So in the rare cases, this test might not be helpful.The few things worth noticing in [b:Linked|14999965|Linked|Imogen Howson|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1350302061s/14999965.jpg|17352171] are its pace, the way it turns its nose at the common tropes of YA action novels and the characters. However, the novel doesn't play around with originality or plot twists; it has a straightforward, predictable story. Lissa has hallucinations, requests surgery, smells something fishy, follows hallucinations, meets twin girl, government conspiracy, race against time and stuffs.Same old, same old.Wrapped it up in one sentence.But then it goes...Lissa doesn't use her brain and asks for help from her parents, which everybody knows you shouldn't do in a dystopian novel. But she doesn't because she hasn't read any and she doesn't know she's in a dystopian novel and thus, trusts her father who's helped her before.Nevertheless, don't you fear for Lin, the other girl, who's had some dealing with this before is there to stuff some sense into Lissa.Thus, this effectively removes any fears of the Missing/Ignorant Parent Syndrome while also ensuring that adults don't encroach upon the action scenes if teenagers and steal the limelight.As a protagonist, Lissa with her over-reliability and trust issues makes for one fine character. From the first chapter, she trusts her instincts and takes action. She does get fucking annoying sometimes, always analyzing Lin, thinking about others... but you can easily connect with her, especially in the beginning. I also like that there isn't anything that special about her. She's your average, screwed-with-at-birth-or-before teenager.The relationship development between Lin and Lissa felt a bit awkward to me as the story moved on. Lin has always been in Lissa's head whilst Lissa has been in Lin's during the worst times in Lin's existence, so a little intimacy is to be expected. The way it starts out and the way they care for each other was comfy and I liked it but some ways into the book, Lissa is either pitying Lin, lecturing her or fearing her. She has her reasons but get the FUCK OVER IT already! I needed some proximity between the two, genuine proximity. The sci-fi and dystopian aspects of the novel were old-school but along with the action scenes, they sucked me in. Evil doctors, secret government laboratory, human-based non-human entities, starships, hyperspeed, secrets and everything else. However, the two are dealt with light years apart. Literally. First, we deal with the world-building, some history, thus your post-apocalyptic theme, the government- look they are coming after us!- so we have the dystopian feature and yada, yada, yada.Then, let's runnnnnnnnnn and what on earth are you, Lin? What were they doing to you? And we have to runnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!So the science-fiction and experiments and fututre transportation means come into play.The action scenes start from the first chapter to the last is awesome, if a bit repetitive in the last hundred pages. It's all runnnnnnnnnnnn(who gets bored of runnnnnnnnnnnn!!! not meeeee!!!! I like to runnnnnnnnnnn!!!). In contrast, the emotions of other characters are only shallowly scratched and they behave rather mildly in tough situations. In fact, the writing is purely action-driven. Moreover, when you read the blurb of the book and it says"Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human."You should ignore the thought-provoking part and the second sentence.There is a feather-light touch of romance and kissing scenes amidst sparking and wiring and crashing(romantic, no?). It's very embarrassing and clumsy. The book would have four effing stars had the romance been snipped out. Cadan is pretty mean to her at the start, in a way that reduced any possibility of fifth grade romance. You know, he pulls your hair and calls you name because he likes you? The thing going around in YA romances? Thankfully, it's not there. Regretfully, it doesn't work anyhow. The ending pleased me and I can envision many other readers applauding it as well. I won't go into detail but suffice it to say, the future governments and the people holding the reins aren't all that screwed up and there's really no need of teenagers jumping in, guns a-blazing.So done! It was a thrilling book, despite the lack of twists and shock-factors, relying on old action values and I immediately wanted to rate it four stars but thinking, thinking, thinking brought it down.An ARC was provided by the publishers for reviewing purposes.Cross-posted on Books behind Dam{n}s