With renewed interest in dystopian worlds we are given a rare new work in A Girl Undone by Catherine Linka. Where marriages and women are bought and bartered, Avie has escaped her own confines with her real love Yates. After a confrontation with the government, he has been hospitalized in critical condition and she is on the run. She carries information that she must get to the Paternalist party if she can locate the correct person.
With the help of another friend, Luke, she tries to help keep them alive while finding the exact person who can use the information she now carries. Her face is on every news channel and a huge reward has been offered by the man who holds her own marriage contract. How can she move forward safely?
Can she find the only man who can make sure the information is used in the right manner before she is captured or worse? Garnering feelings for Luke, she is unsure what her next turn should be. She knows Yates is her only real love, and yet she is conflicted in her feelings. Can Yates survive his own wounds, and even if he does, will she be able to some way break free of the bonds that bind her to another man. One who is extremely ruthless and embarrassed at her running away?
Linka has given us a dystopian world with harsh guidelines and rules. Those who do not cave to the rules are often killed or disappear with no one the wiser. Avie’s only protection from death is the man she fears the most, the one that holds her contract. His character is one of the more complicated, and you will enjoy the process as Avie gets closer to her goal.
Avie is a character both bold and conflicted. She is never quite sure of herself and has some flaws that keep her from being too strong. Unsure of her direction, but undaunted in the task she has, she is compelled to move forward for a better world. That she is torn between her feeling for both Yates and Luke only makes her just a bit more human.
If you enjoy dystopian and futuristic worlds you will enjoy this work. There is romance, danger, mystery and at all times a belief in freedom that transcends the characters. The thrill of the chase and the tense romance will keep you reading to the very end.
This would be a fun book for a book club or reading group, with much dialogue about freedoms and other rights of individuals.