Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

I heard about this book from Book Whales (click to read her review), and it intrigued me. Happily, the library had a copy ^^

The Murder Complex follows Zephyr James and Meadow Woodson, two very special individuals in a dystopian society run by an organisation (a government? Which is the correct term?) called the Initiative.. Zephyr is a Ward, which (as far as I can tell), means that he's an orphan and does the dirty work like clearing the corpses that build up. However, Zephyr has a secret - he kills people. He doesn't know why, but every now and then, he wakes up with a body lying next to him. Meadow is trying to help her family survive by taking a job with the Initiative. Thankfully, her father's training helped her to pass the test. But when Zephyr and Meadow meet, they discover (apart from the instant attraction on Zephyr's part) that something is going on behind the scenes. And it involves them.

Here's what I liked about the book:

Meadow's character. She's trained to survive (and that includes killing when necessary), and her character is exactly what you'd expect. She doesn't have a "hidden soft-side" or go teary-eyed and sentimental at the drop of a hat. In fact, she's quite hard-hearted when need be, and I thought it was very appropriate for someone with her background. Kudos to the author for not trying to soften her.

Zephyr and Talan's friendship. Talan is a friend of Zephyr, and I really liked seeing how these two people had such a strong bond. No, there wasn't any romance, just friendship. It was really really refreshing.

The mystery. There is a mystery in this book (though it's not a murder mystery), and I like how it unravelled. There were quite a few twists and turns, which made the book very addictive.

But, there were some things that I wasn't so crazy about. Like:

The instalove (Sorry Book Whales, I'm going to disagree with you here). I feel that, at least on Zephyr's side, the instalove was fairly strong. I mean, Zephyr has been dreaming of Meadow even before he met her, and he keeps talking about how perfect she is. Thankfully, Meadow didn't do the same, so I only had to endure this for Zephyr's half of the book.

The treatment of Meadow's mom. Without giving away spoilers, let's just say that I found the treatment of Meadow's mom to be too contradictory. Her character, and her relationship with Meadow seem to flip flop, and since it was part of the action-packed finale, was rather unconvincing.

Overall: I liked the book. I'll even read book 2 is I can get my hands on it (this feels like the start of a series). There might have been some things that I'm not crazy about, they weren't so major as to thoroughly dissuade me from continuing the series, or reading other books by this author.

If you're looking for a different opinion, try the review over at A Page of Heaven

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