One of the biggest problems with any thriller set in a futuristic utopia is how the main character will be able to slip through the cracks. When everything is automated, when everyone is organized, where are the fringes that accomodate those on the run? When Elissa's "illness" is revealed to be something more terrible than she ever imagined, the scope of this story expands from "teenage suburbia" to "the galaxy".
Elissa's sheltered perspective made a lot of the mechanics in the opening chapters a bit of a stretch for me, but luckily Howson doesn't spend too much time belaboring the "spy craft" of how Lissa and her twin manage their escape. Some hurried assistace from Lissa's father, helpful obliviousness on the part of a friend, and then the story blasts off. For some reason "space opera" is more believable than "futuristic, teen caper", and my interest in LINKED took a marked uptick. And up and up and up... the relationship between Lissa and Lin, which starts out pretty juvenile, addresses head on the social differences and scars of their separate upbringings. Despite their magical connection, Lissa and Lin have independent personalities that are never stifled or homogenized.
I did not expect the revelation that explains Lin's horrible past, nor did I expect the positive future it made possible for the sisters. I finished LINKED excited for their future, and interested in the social and personal fallout sure to result from their actions. LINKED is completely satisfying as a stand alone, but I would love the chance to see more of these characters and their world.
Sexual Content: Kissing.