Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1)

Release Date: June 10, 2014
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Length: 400 pages

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.



Protagonists: Meadow has been trained all her life to defend herself and survive at all costs. Her father's tactics may border on child abuse but his results are a kick-ass, take charge, and downright lethal female protagonist. I really liked Meadow, she's realistic, even though I don't think many people reading this book could take her in a fight, but her emotions and her choices aren't infuriating and she has a strong moral compass that leads her in the right direction. Zephyr is a Ward, someone left in the government's care, or should I say lack of care. His job is to scrape the bodies of those murdered the night before and dispose of them. While he's a relatively likable character, in the shadow of Meadow, he didn't quite add up. He was still a great addition to this book though. I would go further into detail but I fear if I do I might let something spoilery slip.

Romance: This romance between Zephyr and Meadow was extremely confusing. At first it seemed as though it was going to be an insta-love, and then it wasn't and Meadow actually despised Zephyr. Then sort of slowly they get back on track and honestly I could barely keep up with how Meadow was feeling. Zephyr on the other hand was pretty easy to read as he did have an insta-love attraction to Meadow. However, while I feel it should have come off as creepy it really didn't and I'm sad to say I can't for the life of me figure out why.

World-Building: Weirdly enough there was a LOT of world-building in this book. I mean, usually in series or mostly in trilogies a lot of the world-building is left for the second book as that's where things are really supposed to pick up, but i left this book without very many questions. Sure I wanted to know some pretty important stuff but it was more about what happened to certain characters as opposed to how this world exactly works and what all it's secrets are. I'm not saying we know all the government's secrets because I'm sure Ms. Cummings will have some pretty big twists moving forward in the series, but I have to say I wish I didn't know as much as I do about this world.

Predictability: So while there were a few things that fell into classic YA Dystopian tropes that I could pick up upon easily, there were many things that still completely shocked the hell out of me. One being the ending which I'll get to later, but there were a few things that just blindsided me. It made for a very good mix of the seen and unseen to present a very enjoyable reading experience.

Ending: So I literally couldn't see this ending coming, but this was mainly due to the fact that I misread how many chapters were in this book and so when I got to the end I still thought I had a few chapters left to go. This in turn really drove home the cliffhanger for this book, which was a serious doozy. Many things are left up in the air and the fates of certain characters are uncertain. While this wasn't a completely torturous cliffhanger I believe it will still have the effects of one as I know I'm dying to know what will happen next for these characters and can say that I can't wait to find out.


Even with some rather confusing characters and more fleshed out world-building than I was prepared for this still made for a great adventure and an awesome start to what looks to be a pretty epic series.


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