The Murder Complex – Review

I didn’t plan on buying The Murder Complex. It was on my reading list, but I forgot about it until I saw it on the display at Chapters.

Oh. Oh yes. I snatched it up because once I remembered it, I remembered I had to have it. I was so excited to read it, I started it on the bus ride home, never mind the fact that I might miss my stop, because this, I was sure, was going to be splendid.

It was not, I’m so sad to say. I find I’m very frustrated about several things in this book.

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?

The cover was nice, nothing fascinating or to die for, but pretty standard. One thing I thought was really cool, were the book pages which had barcodes running down the sides

I was really hesitant about the changing perspectives. I find that they can add a bit of distance between myself and the characters, and I felt that a little too. At certain points the POV shifts were very irritating because of the short chapters; I ended up jumping from one POV to another, and when you work up a certain momento, it can be difficult to switch so quickly into the different perspective.

I was also initially confused about the Shallows. Are they a community? A sea? Part of the sea? It really wasn’t clear until further into the book what exactly the Shallows were, and so I was a bit disoriented from the beginning. I realized that it is, in fact, a community, surrounded by the Perimeter.

The dialogue could be a little cheesy, at times. Very standard, cliche phrases were used, ones that make me personally cringe when i read them. For instance, at one point, Meadow shouts, “Give it to me…You won’t win.” Another one was from Zephyr: “What is this place?” I mean, come on. That one was a bit much. The only line I really liked was the main recurring theme: Count to three. Relax your mind. Now survive. At times the writing was really good, graphic in a away that had me reacting physically, which tells me that Lindsay Cummings has the ability to write really well. I just wish the writing would have been more consistent.

The idea of the Murder Complex, I thought was interesting. It’s what the entire book revolves around and I thought it was a great concept. The plot, however, didn’t live up to its potential. The book started off great. I was hooked and interested.I mean, numbers tattooed straight across the forehead: intense, love it. Meadow’s badass skills: awesome, no doubt.  Towards the middle, however, it started to cave. Some scenes I found were just unbelievable, emotionally. I mean, Meadow gets over his attempt on her life pretty quickly. Even if she knows he doesn’t control it, I wanted to shout at her, “Exercise a little more wariness and caution, won’t you?!” She’s in such close proximity with him, after barely escaping with her life, and she feels no apprehension? Unbelievable.

And Zephyr really showed some poor situational judgment in the aftermath of some major events. Meadow just lost her family, and you’re asking for a kiss? Really?! And then the two of them at the end: in such an urgent situation, you have time to stop and observe what is certainly a 10 minute event? GET IN AND GET OUT! This was so incredibly frustrating for me. This happens so often in television and movies, but I was surprised to see it here. It was like a line of dominoes falling as one incredulous thing happened after the other.

The relationships, I also thought were so lacking. Meadow had virtually no strong emotional ties to anyone except Peri, and we hardly see her so we don’t really get to fully experience and feel that connection. Her father, brother, and, eventually, mother, there’s hardly any emotional regard, if any in some cases. As a result, I didn’t feel anything when people died.

I liked her and Zephyr at first, but then the confusion kicked in. One minute she likes him, then she doesn’t. Then, yes she does- oh wait, no she doesn’t again. Maybe I passed over something, but I couldn’t track the progression and evolution of her feelings for him after he tried to kill him. As someone who loves and craves the romance and romantic tension between characters, this was very disappointing.

I don’t know if I’ll read the sequel. I’ll have to wait until it releases to see how I feel about it, but right now, it’s not complicated: The Murder Complex was, unfortunately, a disappointment.


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