The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

June 9th, 2014 Kimberly Review 98 Comments

9th Jun
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Murder Complex
by Lindsay Cummings
Series: The Murder Complex #1
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

98 Responses to “The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      They have been mixed, this is different and dark. I think a lot of people struggled with Meadow, but I kind of got her and think we will see her fleshed out more as the series progresses. I hope you give it a go!

  1. Kristin

    I had a very mixed reaction when I read this one although I ultimately rated it the same as you. It was good, I agree but left many unanswered questions plus I didn’t really connect with Meadow being special.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Meadow was a tough nut to crack, and I got her, but really hope she is fleshed out more in the next book.

  2. Stephanie

    I’ll have to mark this one down later for when I’m not so leery of dystopians. I may try to be very patient and wait for the whole series to come out. 🙂 It sounds like it was a very fast paced read!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope you give it a go, thanks Stephanie 🙂

  3. Chyna

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book. I ended up hating it a lot…the story was very lame…and the lead acts like a cocky bastard (Some day I hope her arrogance will get her killed) I just felt utter rage for this book. it had so much potential but it let me down. 🙁 I recent reviewed this but I feel unsatisfied huhu

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am sorry that is what you took away from the book Chyna.

  4. Madiha (Maddy)

    I absolutely love it when the MC is fierce yet has a soft side. It’s usually very hard to pull off, but when it is, I’m very impressed. Great review, Kim! I have been wanting to read this for a while now and I’m finally going to be able to!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Meadow was fleshed out and I loved how the author was able to show the many sides of her and occasionally remind us that she is young.

  5. Kay

    I like a quick moving book and I’m definitely going to give this one a try. It’s been buzzed about for a long time now. Reviews are starting to come out and they are all over the place. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The lack of romance and the way it unfolds only providing information as needed to keep an air of mystery may turn some off, that and the darker aspects.

  6. Cyn

    I don’t usually read a ton of thrillers but this one definitely sounds bad ass (It kind of reminds me of the movie Hannah). I’m happy to hear the story moves pretty quickly. Bah cliff hanger ending ): I might wait until the next book haha. G;ad you enjoyed this, thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hopefully the wait for book two isn’t long 🙂

  7. Jan

    This sounds like a good book, Kimba! Not excited by the cliffhanger…so maybe I’ll wait. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah cliffies..I have a love/hate thing with them. I want to know now, but on the other hand it does keep me excited about the next book.

      • Jan

        I agree, Kimba. I think with a series I’ve read more than one book I don’t dislike it quite as much. I just want the book soon! I new series, however, and I’m more likely to regard it unfavorably…LOL

  8. Red Iza

    I just added it to my list. I’m not crazy about the “murder” side, but I sure like dystopian. Thanks for the review !

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think you will find the why, how fascinating 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Paij! This was different and I am anxious to continue.

  9. Christy

    Agreed. I was kind of digging her crazy dad. I want to read the prequel just to see more of their training.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am going to read it too Christy, I am hoping it gives some insight into how we got to this point beyond what we already know.

  10. Naomi

    This sounds like a different read Kimberly. It sounds kind of dark and intense. Great review!

  11. Greg

    I’ve been curious about this one, it seems like it may be a little more personal- more focused on the characters than the setting- or at least that’s the impression I get. This sounds like a winner.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, while we get a very good impression of the world they live in, the tale does centralize on the two main characters.

  12. kimbacaffeinate

    I do love a good assassin too Braine. Thanks!

  13. Giselle

    Although I’ve been seeing mixed reviews of this one I’m still highly curious about it. The dual POV and fast pacing are both things I enjoy in this genre and the whole dark, twisted aspect of the plot is def. right up my alley. Glad you liked it, Kimba!

  14. Braine Talk Supe

    There’s something about assassins that’s fascinating and drawing regardless of the details of their personal stories. I think it’s the ruthlessness and coldness that draws me in coz I’m emotional 😀

  15. Dre

    It seems like a lot of books for YA are getting into the dark and gritty theme. I do like the premise of this book, and I might actually try it out. I’m still on a reading slump, though, so it’s been a bit hard finishing anything. And I like the names Meadow and Zephyr 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am sorry to hear you are in a reading slump still. For me, I tend to like the darker young adult reads,

  16. Heidi

    Everyone seems to be loving this despite the fact that is dark and gritty. I am going to have to read it for myself! Now over to see what Christy says about it!

  17. Tanja

    Woha this sounds even darker than I though it would be. I like it! 🙂 I have heard really interesting things about the story and I must say that Zephyr (has an awesome name) and sounds really great. Great review, Kim 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is! The author really brought the harsh reality of this world to life.

  18. sherry fundin

    I have seen this book before and it sounds like a fantastic read. Your review makes me want to read it even more. ^_^

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Sherry I would love to see your take on it.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I really liked him and his struggles. He was a little gaga over Meadow, and the author did a great job of showing his inner turmoil.

  19. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh I’ve been curious about this one, but I was afraid that it wouldn’t hold up. This really does sound like a dystopian I would enjoy. Oh I’m going to have to check out that prequel too. My only complaint? Cliffie! GAH! I hate those.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I was worried too, and while not perfect, it was dark, and vivid. Which I loved.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh it is a horrible world to live in and the author really brought the harsh reality to life, the struggle to obtain a job to feed their families was a think of nightmares.

  20. Trish

    Ohhh, another thriller for me to sink my teeth into. I never get enough of them! And it’s refreshing for the romance to only be a minor story, I’m excited about getting this one Kim 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Trish, and the romance is just a little ripple.

  21. Michelle

    I want to read the murder complex so bad! It looks so awesome. I love that it is dark and gritty, and I am even ok with the fact that there is only a little romance. I can’t wait to see what this book is like.

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Michelle, and I am the same way I do not need a romance in dystopian novels.

  22. Lenore

    This one is in my TBR. I had planned to read it sooner rather than later, but then saw some mixed reactions. I’m glad to hear that you like it! Thanks for the review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I look forward to hearing your thoughts Lenore!

  23. Lori

    I’ve seen a few reviews for this book and they’ve all been 4 or 5 stars so I plan to add it to my list. Sounds like a great page-turner and the sci-fi element sounds intriguing! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Good to know Lori, someone commented that they had only seen negative reviews, but I enjoyed this 🙂

  24. Lisa

    I’m so torn on whether to read this or not! Part of me REALLY wants to read it, but the other part of me is kind of scared for some reason. I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much!! I’m really trying to push myself to give it a go.

  25. Candace

    I just got this yesterday from my friend and I’m looking forward to giving it a read. She didn’t love it (or like it much) so it’s nice to see a good review. I guess we’ll see what I think!

  26. kindlemom1

    So glad you liked this one, you need to read the novella The Fear Trials, so much background info in it, I think you will really like it Kim.

    And hey, you and Chrsity are review twins today1 😛

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I saw that, and I plan to read the novella!

  27. Stephanie Faris

    Dystopian murder…I don’t think I’ve read a book of that type before. The plot sounds like something I’d enjoy, though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It has an interesting premise Stephanie 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sorry to hear that I haven’t looked at any yet.

  28. Christa

    I am so happy to hear this is worth reading. I thought it sounded so good but so many of these high concept books have let me down before.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It has a good premise and I liked the blending of science fiction elements

  29. Shy

    This is next up for me to read. Glad you liked it though. I have heard nothing but good things about it

    • kimbacaffeinate

      enjoy Shy, I look forward to your thoughts

  30. tonyalee

    Hmm.. Even after all the mixed review on this one, I am too curious NOT to read it, even with a dreaded cliffy haha

    Great review lady

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am really glad I read it, hope you pick it up 🙂

  31. Berls

    Ok, yeah I’m very in! I love the sibling element, being a big sister myself. I do think I’ll wait though – so I’m not tortured by that cliff hanger. Great review Kimba 🙂

  32. Michelle

    Eep! Cliffy! Hope the next book isn’t too far away from publication! I tend to avoid Dystopian but this one sounds quite interesting, especially that tagline on the cover. Thanks for sharing your review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yep and it was one that will have you itching for book two.

  33. Jenea

    This sounds so good, and I need to see if I can find the prequel too. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hope to read the prequel as well Jenea 🙂

  34. Mary

    Ooh, a dark mystery dystopian? I’m in. Zephyr and Meadow sound like interesting characters and I like that we have a dual POV with them.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoyed the dual pov’s and Zephyr’s was shrouded in a little mystery, so it was cool seeing his story unfold.

  35. finley jayne

    I just read another blog’s review on this book, in which they trashed it, lol. Now I’m torn oiy. It’s on my TBR list and I think I’ll go ahead and read it at some point 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Too bad, I like to read 3 or 4 reviews and look to see if the things they didn’t like will be things that turn me off.

  36. Nick

    You have no idea how happy I am to see a glowing review from you, Kim. So many readers haven’t been enjoying this book and it had me a little disappointed, but knowing that you liked it has me more excited now.
    I love the sound of the scary world and the sci-fi elements. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll love this as much as you did.
    Lovely review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I liked the obscurity, and darker elements. I am surprised the fast pace didn’t appeal to more people. I think the lack of or backseat romance may have disappointed some.

  37. Jessica

    This is one of the few new dystopians that I’m actually interested in, and now I’m even more so–I LOVE Fringe, and I’m always a sucker for a trained killer who somehow manages to hang on to her humanity. GREAT review!

  38. kim { Book Swoon }

    I’m so glag you enjoyed this one, Kimba! I’m excited to read The Murder Complex and the sci fi world reminiscent of Fringe sounds like something I would love. Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It has some interesting elements and I am anxious to see how it develops.

  39. Melliane

    I saw this one but it’s the first review I read about it. I confess that the world intrigues me, I always love to have something a little different and to see the ideas of the author. Thanks for the review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was different, and fast paced. While not perfect, the ending was strong and has me excited to see what happens.

  40. Wendy Darling

    Ooo, 4 stars! I do love a good thriller, so I’m happy to see your high marks for this.

    Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately too, it has been CRAZY for all of us at The Midnight Garden, but we’re trying to get back on track. Excited to see what you’ve been up to!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Glad you all are back, I was deathly ill for almost 4 weeks with pneumonia, and for almost a week I didn’t log on other then to see if my post went off. It was two weeks before I visited blogs and another two before I replied to comments. Hope you all were just crazy busy, and no issues.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I did not think you were a dystopian fan..more fantasy 🙂

  41. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    I’ve been seeing some really mixed reactions for this book so I’m really nervous about what I’ll think of it when I read it later this month. Does sound really convincing though!

    Lovely review, Kimba! <33

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I look forward to your thoughts it wasn’t five cups of coffee, but it was engaging, and the end despite the cliffy was strong.