Company Town by Madeline Ashby
It might be a bit early to declare a winner, and in the interest of full disclosure, I should probably mention that I’ve only read two of the five Canada Reads books, but while I really enjoyed Fifteen Dogs, so far Company Town is the winner.
Sci-fi and futuristic; kick-ass female protagonist and megalomaniacal villain; serial killer thriller, mystery, and romance; sex and violence… Need I say more?
New Arcadia is a family-owned town on an oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland. Hwa is hired as bodyguard to protect Joel, the teenage son of the CEO and patriarch of the Lynch family. Because Hwa is the only inhabitant of New Arcadia who is organic, that is, non-enhanced and therefore cannot be hacked, she is ideal for the job.
Hwa’s previous job was as a bodyguard for the United Sex Workers of Canada. When Daniel, a highly enhanced member of the Lynch organization sees Hwa in action, he offers her a job on the spot. Too poor to afford enhancements, and suffering from a disorder that has left her disfigured and prone to seizures, the job offer comes with perks that are hard to resist.
The 1984-esque overtones make this futuristic book a perfect read for the present times. Cameras everywhere and an all-seeing AI computer interface called Prefect allow access to everyone’s every move, and yet still, a killer is on the loose.
The Canada Reads debates start on March 27. Next on my TBR list is Nostalgia. What’s your Canada Reads pick?