Series: The Murder Complex #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia, Young Adult
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
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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?
For the first time in a while, I was actually looking forward to a dystopia. I was eager to read this book. The premise was intriguing. It drew me in and when I saw this book on Edelweiss, I knew I had to have it.
Boy, was I in for a MAJOR disappointment. There were HEAPS of problems in this novel and not many redeeming factors in sight. In fact, it turned out to be a very typical dystopia instead of a unique one as it had promised. The only really positive thing I can say about this book was that I was never bored. I never dozed or fazed off. Hell, I didn’t even really rage until after I had finished the book. I was irritated and extremely annoyed but I didn’t rage.
Zephyr and Meadow suffer from the pretty people syndrome. Neither think they are much to look at, but would agree that the ‘other person’ is the most beautiful person they have ever laid eyes on. When describing the ‘other person’, they never seem to see the scars. I don’t mean to imply they make a person less beautiful when I say that, but it just seems that in each other’s eyes they are flawless and that doesn’t make it easier for me to like the two. You could consider someone the most beautiful person WHILE still accounting for their imperfections, too. Also, might I add that in a murder-infested world, I don’t really see why beauty is so important. You don’t need to make a big deal about it… especially since every day seems to be a struggle for survival in this world.
I tried to ignore how they felt for one another and tried to enjoy their characters aside from their interactions with each other, but that seemed impossible to do considering how much time they actually spent with one another or thinking about the other person. It almost seems as though without the presence of the ‘other person’, these two would have been incredibly flat (that isn’t to say they were particularly round.. they weren’t, but the book would have been extremely boring if the book only focused on one of them). Zephyr, for example, thinks that his only purpose is to protect Meadow, who from what I’ve seen is capable of protecting herself, so I do not comprehend his obsession with wanting to protect her.
“I feel like I can protect you now…”
Seriously. That is his what he says after he learns how to consciously use his fighting skills.
I cannot really say much else about these two in terms of their characters because they failed to leave any sort of impressions on me. I simply didn’t care about them.
Their romance on the other hand was a whole other story. It had insta-love written all over it. Within a span of a week (approximately?) they have ‘fallen in love’, have ‘known each other forever’ etc. What? I do not comprehend. I really don’t see how they could have fallen in love seeing that Zephyr tried to kill Meadow in their first real interaction. I don’t even understand how Meadow could have so easily forgiven him for endangering her family (although I am not sure she even realized that his actions put her family in danger). Their romance just seems so oddly perfect. In a very bothersome way.
The secondary characters definitely had potential which went down the drain. For starters Talan annoyed the living daylights out of me. Her blatant disregard for prostitution in general was quite disturbing. It was a joke but the fact that she kept on threatening to turn to prostitution bothered me. I know she was going through a rough time but it didn’t, make it easier to swallow when our beloved Zephyr replied to her threats
“ I’m seriously considering prostitution over this.”
“Talan,” I groan, “you can’t just pawn yourself off like you’re a worthless Leech. You’re better than that.”
Uh huh. Would you like me to escort you to the exit or are you going to show yourself out?
Koi was an interesting secondary character but then again, was also a huge hypocrite. In spite of that though, I would have definitely liked to have seen more of him, since he seemed to be the most interesting character amongst them all.
The world building itself was not original, but on top of that, I also felt like it was sending the wrong messages. I felt like the book was trying to tell me how science is not always good and shoved that idea down our throats with such an extreme case. That just didn’t work for me because really that sort of situation wasn’t necessarily the result of science, science may have helped make it worse, but to imply it was the cause doesn’t sit right with me. Everything depends on the intent of humans. You could make eating seem evil if it came to that (ooh, there is an idea, a world where everyone if forced to eat tons of food in a bad way?). Plus, it just seemed harder for me as a reader to wrap my head around how something good could lead to something bad. Was the book trying to imply that had everyone died and suffered the characters would have been better off? They might not even have been alive had a cure not been found.
The swear words were bothersome, too. It’s not like this book is set 100 years into the future or anything. From what I gather, it seems to be set around 20-30 years from a time when things were good so how have the swear words evolved so much?
I mean Flux and Skitz? REALLY? It just makes it altogether harder to take this book seriously when the swear words are so SILLY.
The plot just is. I mean, there are twists that I saw coming and other stuff going on, but this book was more like an intro and a build up for the sequels. Nothing particularly important (in my opinion) happened in this book. It was paced well enough and I finished it rather quickly, but it’s just that there seemed to be a lot of running around and a lot of discoveries over the course of a week. It didn’t give me enough time as the reader to actually keep up with what was happening and so there was this sort of detachment from the entire book for me.
If you’re reading this book in hopes of finding something unique in this genre, I suggest you look elsewhere (After the End perhaps?).
Note that all quotes have been taken from an uncorrected proof and may be subject to change
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