The Death Code

I am not a writer. However, I do know good writing. And, sorry to say, this isn’t it. Anytime an author says something like “We were surrounded on all sides” I am out. Ugh. What awful redundant writing. Not to mention that “it was the first thing she said since we found her” was stated three times. So, apparently, this character said three different things on three different occasions, all of which were the ‘first thing.’ It’s also not true, because when she was found, she said something.

The story is told is alternating chapters from 2 first person accounts, which I have no problem with, but most chapters were so short and choppy (some only a page long) that it was very disjointed and there was no flow to the story. I assume they are meant to be action packed, different camera angle type stories, but it just didn’t work.

About 2/3 of the way through the book, the plot began to grab my attention. Survival in the “Outside” against forces that cause disease was much more interesting. I think this is where the focus of the book really should have been.

I gave this three stars, but I think that’s being generous. They were unnecessarily graphic Again, I have no problem with violence, but a character laughing and screaming with madness and joy as she gouges someone’s eyes out isn’t plausible. I *would* be plausible with a little more character development, but that was seriously lacking in this book. Also, I didn’t buy the relationship between the main characters at all. None of it felt developed or authentic.

Maybe I’m not the target audience. Maybe I’ve read too much of the genre. Either way, I can’t recommend these books to anyone.

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The Murder Complex

I’m a big supporter of my local library. I live near a bigger city, so we have multiple branches to get books. And they are so nice that they will order a new book if you request it. I am also a fan of ebooks and my Amazon wish list. I add books on there constantly and check it daily. I finally discovered the “sort by lowest price” feature so now I can easily find books on my list that have been deeply discounted. So, when a book on my wish list drops to .99 or 1.99, I usually snatch it up. This is how I obtained The Murder Complex. But the second book in the series is full price (usually) and my library didn’t own it, and I’m just too cheap to pay full price for books, so I requested the library order the second book. And they did!! They already owned the first, so it made sense for them to buy the second one. Big thanks to my library support!

I’ve owned The Murder Complex for a year or so, but just never wanted to read it until I had access to the second. I feel like I have exhausted the YA dystopian genre. Most of it is fair. A few series stand above the rest, The Hunger Games, The Legend series, the Book of Ivy series come to mind. There’s also a great series that I got for free from Amazon called The Starborn Uprising series that I thought was really good. But most are just mediocre. Sadly, this one falls into that category. I’m so used to reading a trilogy, that when a series is just two books, it feels a bit lacking. Book of Ivy, aside, because that’s a very fleshed out couple of books. This one, however, felt rushed. I never bought into a character’s motivation. None of them, really. It all felt very disjointed. Oh I hate you, no wait, I want to kiss you even though I barely know you, oh wait you’re going to kill me, wait I still might want to kiss you. Huh?

The book was also really predictable. I knew certain characters were either not dead or involved in a double agent situation. Ultimately, I gave this book 3 stars because I did want to keep reading, but I just wasn’t overly impressed with it. I felt like it was needlessly bloody and murderous (and have zero issues with meaningful violence in a YA books). The overall plot was just too farfetched.

Maybe I just have high expectations for this genre, or maybe I’ve just read so much of it that it takes a lot to impress me. But I am going to read the second book and see if it fares any better.