Book Review: The Murder Complex
By: Lindsay Cummings
Published By: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 10, 2014
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Science Fiction/Dystopian, Thriller
I am not always a Dystopian fan, but since this would seemed like it was more thriller than typical Dystopian, I decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. Yes, this one does have futuristic elements: a disease that has virtually wiped out humanity causes an amazing cure with serious side effects to be developed and the government numbers all citizens and implants them with a pin. These are only a couple of examples of the Dystopian flare that Lindsay Cummings brings to the table in her heart-pounding debut. I loved the combination of action/adventure, thriller, and science fiction; it makes for an intense and alluring reading experience.
It's hard to really set a YA novel apart these days when so many hit the market each week. While The Murder Complex felt almost familiar in certain moments, there is also a lot of creativity lying within the sentences. I loved the twists and turns. I felt like I was racing along through the plot alongside the two main characters, Meadow and Zephyr. I can't go into the things I truly loved without spoilers, but you'll understand once you read this one. There were moments in the end that truly shocked me. I didn't predict that Cummings would go down that path. One of the elements that I found to be the most interesting was the Murder Complex itself. This is truly what made the book for me. The whole concept is creepy and terrifying. Dystopians often seek to provide social commentary on current world issues and make us thankful for the world we live in despite its flaws. I am extremely happy to NOT be a citizen of this world.
Another strength of this novel lies within the two main characters. Meadow is a serious badass; her fearlessness and loyalty to her family appealed to me. I particularly liked the relationship between her and her siblings. Meadow is a girl I would certainly want on my side in a fight. Her curious streak also appealed to me. I don't think I could be as brave as she is, but I would want answers to the same questions. It was nice to have a character that dug out the truth when as a reader that was the very thing I craved. On the other hand, Zephyr took a little time for me to warm up to, but once I understood him, I loved him. I won't mention anything about Zephyr's story - that is best left for him to tell. The alternating viewpoints allow the reader to spend time in both of the main character's perspectives; I loved that Cummings chose to tell the story in this manner.
I am super frustrated that I have to settle into the long wait for the next book. This one ends on a major cliffhanger that leaves a character in a perilous situation. Things feel incomplete and up in the air.
Overall, I found Cummings' debut to be an adrenaline filled thriller that had my heart pounding, my brain thinking, and my reading speed trying to keep up with the frantic pace of the plot. Reading The Murder Complex was a though provoking experience. I can't wait for others to read this so I can talk about it without spoiling anything. I have some theories that I would love to share.
One Last Gripe: The romance in this one didn't do it for me. I liked the characters as friends and a support system, but I just wasn't buying the romantic element.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The structure of the society
First Sentence: It is the key to survival, the key to life.
Favorite Character: Meadow
Least Favorite Character: I can't say without spoiling anything.
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.