Saturday, 26 April 2014

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

Title: The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex #1)
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Release date: June 10th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format: eARC
Pages: 266
Source: Edelweiss

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 synopsis doesn't reveal much at all about the novel, so I went into this book practically knowing nothing and definitely very curious. After reading the book, that curiosity is somewhat satisfied, though I have so many more questions now. Though it's safe to say that The Murder Complex is as riveting as I was expecting, despite the constant confusion I felt for many reasons.

Meadow Woodson lives in a world where murders are a common occurrence. But her father has trained her to kill and survive, so she has a fighting chance. When she gets a job in the city, she meets Zephyr, a Ward who apparently dreams about her. Zephyr recognizes Meadow, but has no idea who she is. When Zephyr makes an attempt on Meadow's life, they both realize he's not a regular Ward - he's programmed by the Initiative to kill. And the two of them need to figure out how to stop it all before it's too late.

We get an alternate dual POV from Meadow and Zephyr, though they sometimes blended together in my mind - I couldn't tell who was who. This happened later on, when they were together. But I think it was a great idea for the beginning, so we get to know both characters before they meet.

I liked Meadow. She's a total badass, definitely not one you want to mess with. She's strong, tough, and highly skilled. Thanks to her father's 'training'. I really didn't like his methods - it seemed like he didn't care about his kids at all. But I can't deny that they were effective, since Meadow knows how to take care of herself.

Zephyr was equally likeable, and I sympathized with him more because of his situation. He has moments of weakness, but I can't judge him for that since I can't ever imagine being like him - programmed and controlled by an organization to kill whoever they want. What I  didn't like about the protagonists was the insta-love. The romance was kind of a downer. Zephyr claims to love Meadow when he barely even knows her, and even Meadow warms to him really quickly, despite the fact that she shouldn't even trust him. There was no build-up, it was just BAM. They're into each other.

Another thing that bugged me is the world-building. It's a great concept, but all the terms confused me because of the lack of explanation. The Dark Times, the Silent Hour, the Pulses. Terms like that are just thrown around and you're left trying to figure out exactly what they are. Some of the plot threads also didn't make sense to me, and I just hope there'll be more of an explanation in the next book, especially about the nanites that can heal any wound and make diseases harmless.

I liked all the action in the novel, and how fast the pace went. But apart from Meadow and Zephyr, I couldn't connect with any of the other characters. Not even Meadow's siblings, whom she'd do anything for. They all just seemed very two-dimensional to me. Also, in a dystopian series, even if it's the first book I need some answers, some explanation for all the chaos that's happening in that world. But in this, we get very few answers, all of which come really late in the novel. And the entire book feels like just an introduction, despite the numerous action scenes and the intensity.

I'm still very curious about this world, since the concept seems really cool to me. So I will be picking up the next book to find out where it all leads. The Murder Complex is an intriguing debut from Lindsay Cummings, and I think it'd be a great read for dystopian lovers.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5


  1. This book has been on my radar for a while. I'm glad you liked it despite some problems. I know I'm looking forward to this regardless of the less than stellar reception so far. :)

  2. I have been really curious about this book so I'm pleased to see you enjoyed it despite a few issues. When it comes to world-building I need a lot of explanation as well to fully grasp it, the characters sound great but shame about the insta-love!

    A wonderful review! :-)


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