Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

The Murder ComplexThe Murder Complex
by Lindsay Cummings
Series: The Murder Complex #1
Publication Date: 10 June 2014
Greenwillow Books, Hardcover, 398 pages
Source: Library

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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.

Rating: ★★½

What’s it with me and books I’ve been anticipating turning out a disappointment these days? First Hexed by Michelle Krys and now The Murder Complex too. Anyone who follows this blog would know I’ve featured The Murder Complex in any post that relates to books I’m looking forward to this year and/or this summer. It looked amazing and the synopsis had made it seem as if the plot brimmed with unique potential. Unfortunately, this book only turned out to be average and had also been extremely lacking in the originality department. Continue reading “Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings”

Review: Champion by Marie Lu

Champion

Champion
by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #3
Published: 05 November 2013
Putnam Juvenile, Hardcover, 369 pages
Source: Purchased

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WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR FIRST 2 BOOKS.

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Rating: ★★★★★

If you’re reading this, it means I’ve finally forced myself to sit down and write a review of Champion by Marie Lu. Why have I been dragging this? Once I’ve finished this review, it’ll feel like I’ve said an official goodbye to Day, June and the entire Legend trilogy. I might never get to really wax poetry on my love for this spectacular trilogy again (unless a movie adaptation is released). However, farewell is inevitable.

I’m unsure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but I simply adore Marie Lu’s simple and fast paced writing style. It complemented the action and suspense in Champion incredibly well and had me glued to every page. Before I continue with this review, I should probably share some of my reactions to the end of Prodigy and Champion‘s synopsis:

  1. DAY IS DYING?! WHAT. MARIE LU. WHAT. IN. THIS. GODDY. DARN. WORLD. ARE. YOU. DOING. TO. OUR. HEARTS.
  2. I knew there would be a plague outbreak sooner or later.
  3. Oh, that beautiful cover. Let me grope it!

Now, I am obviously not a very sane person but at least I’m honest.

Moving on. Day and June had a prodigious amount of growth since Legend. They were chewed up by life then spit out in a mess over and over again but instead of letting that cripple them, they came back wiser than ever. Gone were the childlike naïveté they had at 15, in its place were 2 young adults forced to grow up too quickly. Having gone through their gruesome journey with them in the whole of the trilogy, Day and June have grown on me so much, as if they were my personal friends.

I remembered back when reading Legend, I had been a little iffy about the lack of information on the world outside of the Republic. Let me just say that in Champion, the believability of the rest of the world was unprecedented. Marie Lu’s concept of Antarctica and its capital city, Ross City, was absolutely fascinating! Moreover, the world politics involved were realistic yet not overly complicated. Basically, I simply revered the world building!

I’m going to avoid any sugarcoating and outright tell all of you that Champion was an extremely emotionally crippling book. The choices faced were impossible and heartbreaking and the stakes higher than ever. All the characters in Champion, not just Day and June, were so intricate and Marie Lu portrayed each of their pains in life beautifully. I could really tell how the events in the story affected everyone, no matter what social class or where their allegiances laid.

Regarding the very end of the book, it’s hard for me to rationally express my feelings about it but I will try. I died but I survived (in a way). My heart was shattered then pieced back together all wrongly. Oh, and my eyes were leaking like problematic faucets. Leaking is actually a severe understatement. Despite it crushing me, I utterly loved the way Marie Lu ended the trilogy. You simply know an ending is perfect when you can’t imagination anything better. I completely understood and admired June and the decision she made towards the end. It was painful but selfless and I’m not sure if I would have the strength to do that had I been in her place.

Overall, I just want to wrap this trilogy up in a pretty package, lock it in a private compartment in my heart and throw away the key. Though I think I might’ve already done that… Endearing, action packed, intense and heartrending, there’s no way I wouldn’t be recommending this trilogy to everyone I know! And now I guess it’s time to say goodbye. Before I end this off, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Marie Lu for sharing Day and June’s phenomenal journey with all of us readers and I would not ever forget them nor this awe-inspiring trilogy.

Adelena

Review: Altered by Jennifer Rush

Altered

Altered by Jennifer Rush
Series: Altered #1
Published: 01 January 2013
by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 323 pages
Source: Library

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When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Rating: ★★★★

Altered is definitely going on my unrecorded (but still  pretty legit) favourite YA thriller/action novels list. It was filled to the brim with excitement and adrenaline, without a single dull moment and also one of my favorite debuts this year. Set in our present time, the story was told from Anna’s POV.

Anna was definitely awesome kickass female lead material. She’s actually very relatable and cool, one of those characters who seemed like they could be your best friend in real life. I loved that she was smart enough to know when to and when not to speak, a wonderful skill which I myself sometimes lack.

As for the boys, Sam, Trev, Nick and Cas are all fascinatingly different. Although the fact that they were all attractive was slightly overrated, their personalities definitely outshone the predictability of their outer appearance. Despite Cas, Nick and Trev’s personalities being so defined, Sam was slightly more mysterious. It was unquestionable that he was the leader (something which Jennifer Rush showed amazingly well) but his true self, his likes and dislikes, were all pretty shady.

That, however, did not equate to Sam having a lack of personality. He’s just mysterious. Moreover, his ability to make good judgement under stressful circumstances was so swoon-worthy! What’s not to like about that?

The pace and romance in Altered was also impeccable. You would expect an action novel to be somewhat lacking in the romance department but actually, it was oh so good! I found how fragile and delicate Sam and Anna’s relationship seemed at first but grew and developed as they went through more perilous experiences together very engrossing. Every event that tries to separate them just makes me ship them more!

To wrap this up, Altered was like one of those action movies with an okay underlying meaning but with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious action. Yes, I had to resort to the longest word in the English language in encompass the greatness of the action in this novel. Would I recommend this? Without a doubt, yes.

Adelena