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on 22 October 2017
Ahhh. This had the potential to be good but I felt like I'd read it 100 times before.

Meadow Woodson is a 15 year old girl living in a blood-soaked, futuristic world. She has been trained by her father to survive any situation, by either fighting or killing. She lives in a houseboat in Florida, separated from the rest of the world by a wall. Inside the wall, everyone is controlled by the Initiative, that keeps the population in check by way of the Murder Complex. Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is unknowingly part of the Murder Complex and one of the Initiative's programmed assassins. Will Zephyr stop Meadow from discovering the devastating truth about her family?

The setting was interesting but not detailed enough, I thought. It really did not pull me in like the settings of other dystopian novels have. The descriptions didn't really make me picture it to be set in Florida. Also, how many other dystopian books have a wall that separates them from the rest of the world? Divergent is one, and unlike when I was reading Divergent, when reading this, I didn't really care what was on the other side or why the wall was there.

I felt like I'd read all of the characters before. The only thing I really liked about Meadow is that she was ruthless and had no problems killing in order to survive. This is not something you see a lot with other protagonists in books like this. Zephyr didn't really interest me much. The way he and Meadow fell in love instantly was cringeworthy and made the book a lot worse for me. This is another thing that is done far too much in YA. The only character I did like was the one introduced near the very end, who'd been kept prisoner by the Initiative, although they did seem a bit robotic and one-dimensional. I don't want to say any more on them as I don't want to spoil anything. There were many parts where I found myself thinking "yeah right", namely when said character - who had been chained up and starved for goodness knows how long - gets up and has all the energy in the world as soon as they are freed by Meadow and Zephyr.

Do I want to read more? Nah, probably not. This is another one of those books I've read where I want to find out what happens next, but the thought of reading through another 400 pages or so to find out really does not appeal to me. It isn't the worst book I've read - nowhere near it, but I just don't want to read any more. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't already read so many books that were similar.
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on 8 November 2015
Deliciously dark and deadly, The Murder Complex is told from the perspective of Meadow and Zephyr, and set in dystopian society The Shallows, being action-packed from cover to cover.

Extremely fast-paced, this book keeps you on the edge of your bookish seat throughout. Cummings has a style that enables her to keep the audience gripped and utterly interested throughout, action creeping around every corner. The chapters are relatively short - some being dramatically so - meaning this book is a quick read, and seizes your attention from the first page. Also, because it's written in 2 different perspectives, you're swiftly given all the answers - no more guessing what the other character is thinking!

Personally, I really like how fast this book is, because it makes it feels more real, for me, due to how fast-paced life is in reality. This book really matched up to that, and I really liked it. Also, with short chapters, you can read more a lot quicker, and it feels like you've accomplished something more, so this book tended to make me feel good in that respect, too.

On the other hand, I should not that Cumming's writing isn't anything special. If you are looking for a poetically written book with swooping sentences and bundles of metaphors, this isn't the book for you. However, in not having these aspects, it becomes a lot more basic and easier to relate to. You're not told everything it odd similes, but instead are left to fill the gaps with your imagination, which I really like doing.

On another note, the plot for this book is really original - I've never seen anything like it. There were so many twists and turns, nothing being handed to you straight. Frankly, you're given information, only to have it ripped away and told to be false. I really enjoyed this aspect, because it meant the book was rather unreliable when giving you information, causing you to piece it together yourself.

Some aspects of this book were also really clever. For example, in this book, humanity have Nanobots in their blood, something that is under development now. Everything that transpires in this book is courtesy of that step in medicine, and I think it's really interesting to see what humanity could resort to if this method progresses in reality.

In terms of characters, Meadow is really badass. It's so empowering to read from the perspective of a strong woman, and it was so great to see her kill with no repercussions. It was great to not have pages dedicated to a girl panicking over the death of someone unknown. Granted, Meadow strongly feels for those she cares about, but she doesn't fret over those she doesn't know, which was perfect in the setting.

Zephyr is extremely complex. I really like his narration, because he's funny, but also painfully honest. There's a lot of raw emotions from Zephyr, and it added another great layer to this book.

Talan is hilarious. It was great to have some humour injected into the book, and her relationship with Zephyr is such a nice thing to read about, for their connection runs very deep, but doesn't go any further than friendship. Strong friendship power couples are great - not everything is about love and fluffy stuff, it's about having one another's backs.

One criticism I would have for this book is how many characters there actually are, some being irrelevant. However, having so many people dotting around managed to add to the action-aspect.

Overall, it was great to finally read an action-dystopia novel that didn't focus too much on a romantic plot line. Yes, there were a few moments between Meadow and Zephyr, but it was subtle, and definitely not overdone, only a few paragraphs being dedicated to it here and there. Thrilling, gripping, deadly, and intoxicating, The Murder Complex is a fast-paced read that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, explaining as to why I awarded it 4/5 stars.
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on 11 June 2014
I was lucky enough to get an e-arc review copy of The Murder Complex over Christmas last year and if it had been published last year you would of seen it on my end of year lists because I was absolutely floored once I had finished reading it.

It had first caught my attention several months earlier when I came across Lindsay's twitter account and saw her tweeting and I had seen a book called The Murder Complex on Goodreads and thought it couldn't be a coincidence... A little bit of research and I read up on the main idea of the book and I was sold instantly so when I got a copy thanks to Edelweiss I was beyond excited hence why I started to read it straight away and fell in love with the world captured within its pages.

Right from the off you're transported into the bloody world of murders, dead bodies lying in the street just waiting to be carted away, a fight to survive and the Initiative. The Murder Complex is told from two points of view, alternating every chapter between the feisty and ruthless Meadow, and the Jekyll and Hyde-esque Zephyr who is sweet and normal just like every other boy one second, and becomes a blood thirsty killing machine the next with a simple flick of a switch. Some will love the way the narrative changes every chapter and some might find it jarring but personally I'm in the former camp. I loved it. I loved that every chapter you're somewhere different within the Florida Everglades where the book is set. It was already great getting to see people that are so different from each other, a contrast I really liked. Meadow has been trained by her father to survive. The world in which we're drawn into in The Murder Complex is a world where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate, the population cannot keep up and bodies spill into the streets as the wards struggle to keep up with carting them away. That's what Zephyr is. A ward. He's determined to stay out of trouble, just keep his head down and get on with things. He has no family, just his friend Talan so does what he can to get by. Something else I loved about the dual narrative is that when things got really going and you're thrust right into the action, the fact that the next chapter could be completely different meaning you have to read a whole chapter before you can see what's going to happen next simply has you racing through the pages at break-neck speed to see what on earth is coming next.

I'm a big sucker for anything dystopian and The Murder Complex did not disappoint. The Murder Complex itself and the Initiative had me reeling as revelation after revelation came knocking me for six and demanding that I turn the pages quicker to see where it was all heading. At the time of reading the book I wasn't sure if it was a one off or part of a larger series and I have to say upon finishing this book, quite early in the morning if memory serves me correctly, that I was chomping at the bit to read more. It felt like there was more to be told, that the bits and pieces that were hazy, missing, still needed to be elaborated on. And thankfully it looks like we'll get the answers we are craving! Earlier this month, The Fear Trials, a prequel novella was released and Lindsay announced a few months ago that had handed in the second Murder Complex book to her editor and I couldn't be happy. I've seen some reviews that they weren't happy with the romance in the book and whilst I have to say I prefer my books to be romance free, especially if it's going to soppy, but I liked it here. It felt well placed and gave a good contrast to the dark, gritty and bloody world. You needed a few lighter moments here or there to give you a moments peace, a deep breath, before it all kicked off again.

A word of warning for those that are squeamish... There is blood and lots of if in the book. I personally found it so disturbing that people just go around killing one another. It's dark, scary and twisted and at times some of the deaths were so violent I would find myself holding in a breath in the hope that it'd pass and I could continue. Some scenes left me breathless, gasping for air as I saw them all play out in my minds eye. These scenes were so well written and crafted in such a manor that they leave a lasting imprint on you that lasted several pages after you'd read it and just showed just how dark the world has become.

All in all I have to say that I think this book is a stunning debut. It's well-written, fast paced, chock full of action sequences that will have readers racing through the pages. It's honestly one of my favourite books I've read this year, even though I read it last year... But it's published this year, so it counts! Haha. Just go get it! It doesn't currently have a UK publisher but it is available on Amazon both for Kindle and hardback imported from the US of A which I've seen pictures of and it looks stunning. I cannot wait to get my copy and I cannot wait to see what's next in store for Meadow and Zephyr!

Originally posted on Empire of Books.
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on 16 November 2015
"Welcome to the Murder Complex.
You cannot see us. You cannot feel us.
But we are here.
And we control your every move."

Set in a dystopian world where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate, The Murder Complex is, above all else, a book about survival.

"Close your eyes and feel your enemy's weakness.
Mind over body.
Mind over body.
Mind over body.

Now survive."

Meadow Woodson has been trained her whole life by her father and she knows that in this corrupted world you either kill or be killed. And she would kill anyone who threatened her family, without hesitation.

Zephyr James has been a Ward (an orphan) for most of his life. He does his job removing dead bodies from the streets, with the help of his long time friend Talan, and tries not to attract any attention to himself. But he is hiding a huge secret, a part of himself not even he can comprehend. He's been programmed to kill. And that torments his mind.

When Zephyr and Meadow's paths meet, they both feel very intrigued by one another and despite all the setbacks, they begin to really care about each other.

I really liked the dynamic between these two, they balance each other out; while Zephyr teaches Meadow how to trust, Meadow reminds Zephyr how to survive, so that together they can uncover the truth.
I loved Meadow as a female lead, though I think there's still room for some character development. Honestly, I'm a sucker for badass female characters with guns, knives, bow and arrows, etc. who generally kick ass.
I also loved Zephyr, he really anchored Meadow down at times. And I love to read about a good tortured soul.

Throughout this novel, both Meadow and Zephyr kill multiple people, but while Zephyr feels remorse at first, Meadow never does. For this reason, I probably wouldn't recommend you this if you feel squeamish about death, blood and gore (which this book as plenty).

I was really intrigued with the Initiative and the Murder Complex. While in real life, if you see someone being murdered right before your eyes, you run the hell away and get help, in this twisted dystopian world you barely give it a second glance, let alone help. It really makes you think. With the way things are, this could be us in a couple of centuries or even decades. Which is scary because I mean, these people have identification codes tattooed in their foreheads. That is not a world I want to live in. Which made this the perfect Halloween read for me! And after all those plot twists and that amazing ending I seriously need to read The Death Code!

No escaping.
No turning back.
This is your duty.
Purge the Earth.
This is the Murder Complex."
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on 29 March 2015
OMG! This book is incredible, a total page turner. I read this book in a total of 3 hours. Set in a dystopian world, this book is about a girl who was trained to survive. She meets some complications along the way, but for this strong female character it's no match. This book leaves you wanting more and I cannot wait for the second book!
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on 27 November 2014
Suspenseful! Keeps you guessing! This world was really interesting to learn about. I kept wanting more and thank goodness there is a second book coming out! I cannot wait! This book is definitely worth a read! I would recommend it to anyone! If you need a book to get you out of a reading slump then this is it! It got me out of mine!
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on 7 August 2015
This book was so much better than I thought. Full of great characters. I am about to purchase the next book in the series. I can't wait.
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on 5 September 2015
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on 3 August 2015
I loved this book! The writing was fantastic and the plot was unpredictable! The characters were intresting! Would recommend !
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on 25 June 2014
Every year there are a handful of books released that have a serious amount of hype surrounding it. This year The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings is one of them. This hype can be both and good and bad thing. The good is that the book is almost guaranteed to do well as everyone is interested in it. The bad is that there is a risk that the expectation can be a little too high and the book might end up disappointing. With the Murder Complex I fell into the hype and I couldn’t wait to read it but unfortunately my expectations were too high and I ended up being disappointed.

This isn’t a terrible book and I didn’t hate it but I had numerous problems with it. The premise is good, I really liked the idea but despite being extremely brutal in parts it wasn’t all that different from other books in the genre. That itself is not a problem, there are always going to be overlapping themes and ideas in popular genres (in this case dystopia). The problem was the world building and explanations of everything that was going on. Simply put I found this book really hard to follow and towards the end I had no idea what was going on at all.

That was not the only issue. All in all I thought it lacked depth and I couldn’t relate to the story or the characters at all. Things seemed to happen for no real reason and all the chances to add some real depth and emotion were wasted. This was really evident towards the end in a moment between the main character and her mother. It had the potential to be really powerful instead it was borderline silly and lacked any substance.

The characters were alright but I didn’t really care about them too much. The chapters swapped between Meadow and Zephyr’s point of view but I found their voices far too similar and there were times when I forgot whose chapter was whose. Meadow lacks personality, she is great at kicking ass but doesn’t do much else apart from fall in love with Zephyr the moment she meets him.

Zephyr’s insta-love is even worse and he manages to fall for Meadow before he even meets her. He dreams about his ‘moonlit girl’ all the time. The speed at which he manages to fall in love with her is frankly astonishing. Zephyr is probably a little more interesting but his puppy dog, love struck obsession with Meadow is just off putting. Considering all the love floating around you would expect the romance to work. It didn’t. There was no chemistry, no building of feelings it was flat and boring and I didn’t care about it at all.

Add in some pointless character deaths and an ending I didn’t really get the point of and, well to be honest it was surprising I managed to get through this. It is obvious that this book wasn’t for me. I was so excited for it and I wanted to love it but there were just too many issues that I couldn’t let go of. I am sure there are many people who will really love this but unfortunately I wasn’t one of them.
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