Monday, 9 June 2014

ARC REVIEW: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Pub. Date: June 10th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 400
Readership: Young adult
Genres: dystopia

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.

It's not often these days that a book has me up into the wee hours turning page after page to find out what happens next and just exactly what the heck is going on. The Murder Complex was one that did. The book had been on my to-read, must have wishlist for a while. It was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 so I was a little worried it wasn't going to meet up to my expectations. I'm happy to say that I was wrong. From the get-go I was intrigued by Meadow and who this little girl was she was trying to usher out of the water. Why was Meadow so worried? What was going on? Immediately I was hooked.

I'm always a fan of dual POVs but it's especially thrilling when they are done right. The dual POVs really helped shaped the world of The Murder Complex. You had the perspective of Meadow, who grew up in the Shallows with her family and people to take care of and then Zephyr, a Ward, a no one. Or so we think. It helps the reader see the nooks and crannies of the closed in dystopian world that these poor people live in. You see the differences in their lives and the similarities, one of which is how they are all struggling to survive.

Things move fast in this book but not at a ridiculous rate. It is a thriller, so things have to go at a fast pace. Cummings times it all perfectly, weaving rich prose fast action and dialogue. Things get so gripping and fast that I was up till the sun started to shine one night because I had to know what happened next. There are many twists and turns that happen along the way. Some were fairly easy to spot but others were shocking. That is what makes a good thriller: you think the turns and the twists are easy to spot and yes, you spot some, but there are the others that come out of nowhere and hit you like a bus. The ones you never see coming.

I also loved the characters and the way they were developed. There were ones you loved, ones you hated, ones you rooted for and ones you wanted to see fall off of a train. A character doesn't have to be liked to be a good character and there were plenty of those in The Murder Complex. Meadow was such a bad-ass protagonist I wanted more and more of her, even though she was one half of the POVs. It was just great to see such a badass, ruthless character set out to do absolutely anything to protect the ones she loves. Zephyr was great too, even if it took me a few more chapters to warm up to him. By the end I was rooting for him as much as I was rooting for Meadow.

Overall, The Murder Complex is a must-read. It is absolutely gripping from start to finish, with an ending that will leave you pulling your hair out for the next book in the series.

*Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for providing an ARC for review!!! 
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