Reviews for Linked

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
*Starred Review* Three years ago Lissa had everything: popularity, looks, and a bright future. Now she is the weird freak scheduled for minor brain surgery to cure the phantom pain and hallucinations she keeps having. They're hallucinations of being somewhere else and of being someone else. Then she discovers that she has a Spare, a twin who has been an experimental subject in a secret government facility for years, and that her pains weren't phantom after all. Lin, who has electrokinetic and telepathic abilities, escapes the facility and finds Lissa. Together, they run for their lives, and when nowhere is safe, they buy passage on a ship right out into space itself. Cadan, the ship's captain, is Lissa's brother's best friend, and Lissa's buried feelings for him only complicate matters. Howson uses crisp, cinematic writing; high-octane action adventure (complete with deep-space battles); and several unexpectedly shocking twists to explore moral dilemmas that often come with speculative fiction. Sekoia is a three-dimensional world with quirky details and a fascinating history, and the characters are well-developed and believably flawed. Sparked with danger and tinged with romance, this is a roller-coaster ride into space that just about everyone should enjoy. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Elissa thinks her visions and phantom pain are a sickness--until the night she finds a bruised girl who has her face. The government, who kidnapped her twin for experimentation, wants her back; it is up to Elissa to keep them both alive. Most readers will gloss over the lacking characterization and find the fast-paced narrative and action enjoyable.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
A teenage girl learns the terrifying truth about her physically painful visions of another girl's life. Elissa misses her old life, before the hallucinations, the pain, the mysterious bruises and the endless doctor appointments for a condition most people think is attention-seeking behavior. Finally, a specialist offers brain surgery to end her visions. But when Elissa finds proof that one of her visions was real, she discovers her condition isn't just a brain malfunction. The visions are a telepathic link that lead Elissa to her newly escaped, tortured twin: Lin, a Spare, is viewed as nonhuman. Elissa, unwilling to let the scientists catch Lin and hurt her again, runs away with her, giving up normalcy for good. Each twin brings tools to help them as they barely evade authorities--Elissa has convenient, high-tech false IDs that double as no-limit credit cards, and Lin has electrokinetic powers--in an action-packed, tense chase. Lin's lack of compassion and trust for anyone except Elissa and Elissa's na´ve worldview test their newfound bond. Their only hope is to get off the planet by manipulating and taking advantage of Elissa's love interest--a complex character despite the forced romantic subplot. While escaping, they discover the secret purpose of Spares, and the ending resolves the standalone plot in a way thematically consistent with the girls' growth. Moral dilemmas and character development distinguish it from the crowded dystopian field. (Science fiction. 12-17) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 August

Gr 7-9--Sekoia, once a toxic planet poisoned by an accident, has triumphed over its past. Thanks to breakthroughs in hyperspeed superfuel research, which led to a profitable interplanetary transport industry, it appears to be a place of science, charity, prosperity, and peace. But Sekoia has a darker side. When Elissa falls asleep, she dreams of "white-masked people, needles and syringes, huge humming machines," and she wakes up screaming from white-hot pain. Then one night she dreams of a building on fire and of running barefoot, climbing over barbed wire to escape and slicing her arm open. A doctor says Elissa's brain is overactive and recommends surgery, but she can feel the pain in her arm where the barbed wire cut the skin. While watching the news, Elissa sees pictures of the building from her dream on fire. If that part is real, maybe everything else is, too. On a hunch, she follows her instincts and goes out searching. She eventually finds a girl who looks just like her, was born with her, but isn't considered human. She's a Spare. Separated at birth, Spares and their human counterparts have a mental connection that most lose naturally over time. Elissa and her Spare, Lin, seem to have deepened theirs. Lin has escaped the government facility where she was being held and used for experimentation, and Elissa can't bear the thought of her being recaptured and tortured again. The only way to keep Lin safe, though, is to get off Sekoia and become an interplanetary fugitive. Can Elissa sacrifice everything for this girl she's just met? This novel is a page-turner from beginning to end. The action-packed plot is well written and unique, with nicely developed main and secondary characters. Though there is a touch of romance, it's not the story's focus and doesn't overwhelm other aspects of the plot. Fans of Chris Howard's Rootless (Scholastic, 2012) and Veronica Roth's Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011) will enjoy this thrilling novel.--Heather E. Miller Cover, Homewood Public Library, AL

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