April 30, 2014

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1)
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Release Date: June 10th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC borrowed from Adam
First Reaction: Holy Plot Twist Batman!
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.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


So there's Meadow and there's Zephyr. According to the current cover's tagline: "She's trained to survive" and "He's programmed to kill". And it all happens in some crazy post-apocalyptic society where things are absolutely out of control.

This Book is 7 Kinds of Insane:

1. The Oh So Accurate Tagline: I think when I started this book I kind of disregarded what the front cover told me. So when Meadow and Zephyr first start interacting I was like, "Oh, this is nice, Meadow's met this boy and it all seems kind of perfect and instalove-y what with Zephyr dreaming of Meadow and all that but look at this cover there must be more to - WHAT WAIT I MEAN, REALLY WHAT?" And then after I picked my jaw up off the floor I was like, "Well okay, I was warned, I just ignored." So. Be warned, my darlings.

2. The Government: I'm not totally sure what's going here, but this government is up to no good. I don't even know how the things they're doing could be justified, put into place and accepted by society in the first place, as I don't really see a plus side to any of it (like in most other dystopian/post-apocalyptic settings). But it clearly happened somehow and it's super duper twisted, incredible scary, and absolutely insane..

3. Zephyr: As a whole. This boy is, as a whole, insane. *pets*

4. Meadow's Family Situation: Meadow's dad and brother try to kill her on a daily basis to make her stronger. Meadow's mom is dead but important in the scariest was possible. And once you get to know more about her and her backstory, you're just like, "Get the frak out of town with all this insanity and scary, would you please?" The only sane thing about Meadow's family is Meadow's little sister, I suppose, but her sanity is way displaced by the rest of the insanity.

5. Meadow: Girl's trained for survival. Which basically means she's a killing machine. Absolutely terrifying. I would not want to run into her in a dark alley with her. Unless we were on the same team and she was protecting me. Then that's okay.

6. The Murder Complex: I also forgot that the title of this book must have something to do with the structure of the story. And while I've already addressed the government set up, The Murder Complex is something much deeper, intense and integral to the very basis of this book's plot. Keep a finger on the title of this book and remember it's going to jump out and make you want to cry, okay?

7. The Twists: I think I've touched upon the idea that the twists in this book are truly out of control, but I think the topic as a whole deserves mention. Lindsay Cummings is honestly a sick, twisted individual who's bad side I would never like to meet (quite like Meadow). In the best way possible. This book has the darkest dark side I've read in YA in quite some time. Maybe ever. I'm scared of it and I love the scare it brings all the same time. Basically: Insane. Truly insane.

The Downside:

Just a quick paragraph on this: This book is good for the crazy twists and 7 kinds of insanity, but I didn't really feel it. I didn't care for the characters, romance or the familial relationships (except for Meadow and her mom, but that's because that kind of falls into the insanity category). The emotional punch wasn't there and I felt like it could have been. I mean, I didn't expect tears - I mostly expected fear and that's what I got. But I was looking for that deeper connection as well and it just wasn't there. I also didn't die over the prose. It just kind of was. Fact-telling. Which is fine, but I guess I wanted a little more? Basically, this is a book to keep your heart-rate up, but not one to fill it up and make it care over-much.

The long and short of it?

Plot: 7 Kinds of Insane.
World Building: I'm not totally sure what's going on with this government, how it came to be the way it is or how it was even allowed, but it's a scary place.
Character Development: Meadow and Zephyr have it tough. There are a lot of obstacles. But I didn't really feel the heart or the growth. I do enjoy the twists involving both of them and how they adapt to said twists.
Prose: Plain. Very cut and dry. Not so much my style, but I imagine people will like it.
Would I Recommend This Book?: If you like straight thrillers with crazy twists and heart-stopping insanity and horror, this is the book for you. Without question.

Do you prefer straight horror stories? Or maybe you need a little bit more? Tell me all about your scary-story needs in the comments below!