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?
I went into The Murder Complex with mixed feelings. More than one person had told me to skip it but equal amount of people told me they loved it and I needed to read it ASAP. I came out of the book with about the same feelings: there were things I loved and there were things I wouldn’t have minded skipping.
The first 1/3 of the book dragged on for me. I felt nothing was progressing and there was just a typical dystopian story being told. There was some important plot and world building that was given but not enough for how much of the book it took up. I think a condensed, quicker version would have been more enjoyable. I almost gave up and marked this DNF but then plot twist came! I was expecting something to happen but not to the magnitude that it did. The remaining 2/3 was packed full of action that allowed for me to breeze through to the end.
The story is told in a duel POV and there are some scenes that I can see why Cummings’ chose to write the book this way but I feel the book could have been solely from Meadow’s POV. The plot was heavily focused on Meadow’s story and most of the Zephyr chapters were also connected to her. I can see Zephyr’s chapters being important in future books so I am glad she started with duel POV rather than introduce it in a later book.
One major thing that did not work for me is the romance, it was a fast paced instalove. I can understand instalove that is actually just insta-attraction but both characters quickly had feelings of “I need this person”. Romance can be hard in a dystopian society but I would rather it not exist than to be not believable. Meadow and Zephyr had no character development together and I could not understand the attraction beyond the draw of looks.
Overall I wasn’t sold either way on this book. This book definitely caters to dystopian fans, I would almost call it unique because it draws in your elements from all your favorite popular dystopians. I am curious to check out book 2 but I know I will not be running to the book store on release day.