by Lindsay Cummings
Series: The Murder Complex #1
Published by: HarperCollins
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
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
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings is the first in the dystopian Murder Complex trilogy. Cummings blended science fiction and mystery into this futuristic Floridian thriller. This in Lindsay Cummings debut novel and I quickly devoured it.
The world building unfolds slowly as we take in dual perspectives provided by Meadow Woodson and Zephyr James, a ward. They live in a tightly controlled world where everything is a fight for survival from food rations to jobs. The most intriguing aspect of this world is that the murder rate is higher than the birth rate. It is a dark, oppressive world with rules enacted by the initiative that they must obey. Speaking during the silent hours or harboring pre-fall memorabilia will get you killed on the spot.
Trained by her father to kill, fight and survive any situation, Meadow is fearless yet retains a compassionate side. She lives with her brother, little sister and father on a houseboat off the shores of Florida. Wise beyond her years, she fights for her family and her unwavering love for her little sister Peri.
Zephyr James is a ward. He lost his parents and lives in what used to be the everglades. Zephyr has no idea he is one of the Murder Complex’s trained assassins. A chance encounter with Meadow changes everything for both of them. He is complex, and dreams of a girl he thinks could save him. He despairs over the blood on his hands and seeks forgiveness. He struggles between who he wants to be and who he thinks he is. He often himself unworthy. Despite that, there is a childlike purity to him.
The Murder Complex was a compelling read, as we moved back and forth between the perspectives of Zephyr and Meadow. The tale moves rather quickly since we are not weighed down with a lot of world building in the beginning. The tale is dark and gritty at times. It is a violent, desperate world where only the strongest survive. With each detail, I became more immersed in the world. Murder Complex shared a simplistic yet complex world, and I found its components, rules and solutions to be both horrifying and fascinating. Meadow and Zephyr roles in this trilogy and their relationship intrigued me. There is a little romance, but it is secondary to the dark thriller. The sci-fi elements woven into the tale felt Fringe like and Cummings gave it believability. Of course, we ended on a cliffy after a huge climax that revealed and answered so many questions. Gads, now we wait for the next installment. There is a prequel, The Fear Trials, which was published May 27, 2014. It shares Meadows training with her father.
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