Sunday, June 8, 2014

ARC Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

400 pages
Expected publication: June 10th, 2014 
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Source: ARC (Giveaway)
Rating: 4.5/5
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.

Meadow Woodson is a teenage girl who has been brutally trained to survive by her father. She has been preparing herself physically and mentally to take the placement test that will determine if she'll earn a paying job. What she'll have to do to achieve this is no easy task. Zephyr James is a programmed assassin. When they come together...boy, do things get interesting. 

I don't want to spoil any aspect of this novel because you'll enjoy it a lot more if you dive in  uninformed.  That's why this review is a little bit more broad than the other ones I've done. :) 

While The Murder Complex is a fast-paced novel, it contains too many parallels to other popular dystopian novels. It remained me of both The Hunger Games and Divergent. It isn't reminiscent of them; it literally contains aspects of both. On one side we have the violent nature of the job hunting process, on the other the placement test taken at the age of sixteen. A train even makes an appearance. As much as I was put off by this, the novel also has some unique qualities that I couldn't overlook. The city is encased in a "perimeter," a black wall that surrounds the Shallows (aka the place where Meadow ends up.) All of the citizens are required to have a pin implanted in their arm as a way to "fight impurities." As far as anyone is concerned, The Murder Complex is keeping tabs on the population as a way to ensure their well-being. But what exactly is The Murder Complex? Well, you have to read the book to find out BUT I can tell you that the world Lindsay Cummings created is made of awesome.  It hooks you from the very first page and it is so fast paced that you'll be able to read the entire book rather quickly. The characters are really interesting (Zephyr in particular) and I felt very drawn to them. The novel itself is really dark and haunting and the end is the mother of all cliffhangers. 

Even though The Murder Complex doesn't feel like anything new---in fact, it might be very familiar to many of the popular dystopians out there--it does keep you entertain. I'm interested to see how this story develops and if it'll become its own entity. 
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