With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…
Danger has never looked quite so delicious…
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley and with Tasty Book Tours, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review. Additionally, there is a giveaway associated with this book blog tour, scroll down to the bottom of the review to find it.
She fumbled in refastening her shirt. “I’ll teach you everything I know about the illness, and you provide temporary protection and one kill.” The mere idea she was contracting a murder banished the desire humming inside her and replaced the heat with a lump of cold rock.
A veil fell over Jax’s eyes. “What makes you think we don’t know everything you do about the illness?”
She shrugged, wondering if he knew what kind of information he might have stored away just from his ransacking labs. “The Internet went down fast, much faster than anyone would’ve thought, and the news and television thereafter. No way do you know what I know.”
He watched her patiently, as if waiting to strike. “The Internet went down because of a guy named Spiral.”
She blinked. Wow. So Jax Mercury had some seriously good intel. “True. He was infected with the illness and then reacted by creating a world-class computer virus. Figured if bodies died, so should technology, since it got us in this fix in the first place.” Her instincts hummed. Underestimating Mercury would be a colossal mistake. Suddenly, and for the first time in way too long, hope struggled to unfurl within her. “I still know more about the illness than you do.”
“Probably.” He studied her for a few moments longer before cocking his head to the side. “What else?”
She cleared her throat. “I assume you’ve scavenged the area you control?”
His chin lifted. “So?”
She swallowed, her body stilling. “Did you scavenge the emergency CDC outpost on the southeast side of L.A.?” Her blood pumped so fast she could feel a vein in her neck bulging.
“Yes. Why?” he asked softly.
The softness contained a deadly intent that rippled a shiver down her spine. Her fingers fidgeted. “They had the most recent research, and combined with mine, we might have hope.” They also had intel on where Myriad, the ultrasecret lab, might be located.
He studied her. “We raided the CDC outpost and took all medical supplies and paper records. Our limited medical personnel went through the files looking for cures, but I have to be honest, none of them are researchers with your background.”
Lynne leaned forward. “I’m happy to go through all the information and decipher it for you.” Oh God. Maybe the risk of heading into Mercury’s territory would actually pay off . . . if she could find Myriad. “Could I look through the data?”
He leaned back and studied her. “Sure. Are you telling me there may be a cure?”
This is the first complete book in Rebecca Zanetti’s new series The Scorpius Syndrome. The intro novella is in On the Hunt which I didn’t manage to get my hands on before reading this. However, I did read her Sin Brothers series, so I knew I liked her writing style. Plus, I am a sucker for post apocalyptic dystopians.
And this is a rather good one. A plague, plague ridden zombies (the science and the effects on this one are pretty novel and interesting) the scientist plague bringer, the rugged special forces former gang member hottie (who likes to cuddle), the government conspiracy, it all adds up to a compelling tale.
Analyzing my love with post-apocalyptic dystopians, I think part of why I enjoy it so much is that it gives a reasonable and concrete explanation for short cutting typical social mores, in a way that just irks me when it comes to contemporaries. Romances novels often take short cuts to feelings, but it feels irritating and contrived in contemporaries, whereas when the world is ending it just feels more reasonable. I don’t know, but it works for me, and Lynn and Jax are crackling together right from the start.
Jax isn’t remotely a nice man, but for the most part this works in the setting and the situation, but he isn’t a one note bad boy. And even the side characters are relatively fleshed out, enough so that the losses are a punch to the gut, and I teared up more than once. Lynn is a little more opaque to me, a little harder to figure out and empathize with, despite the fact that we spend quite a bit of time in her head. But YMMV.
The actual plot to the story was also pretty compelling. There are several stories going on tied up with one big story about finding a way for humanity to survive. There is also a ton of sequel bait, but it doesn’t detract from this story. And man I enjoyed this story. It has all my favorite catnip components. My only niggle, and it is very minor, is that there were a few places where the story lagged a bit.
It is books like this that make me hate starting a series when it is just coming out. I want to binge, but there is literally nothing but tenterhooks for me to wait on until the next book, and the next one isn’t even coming out until September. How can I wait that long? What if it doesn’t come? What if the series doesn’t continue? I’d be so pissed and despondent. But seriously, this is really good, if you like post-apocalyptic dystopians, action/adventure, and plagues and science, this is the book for you. 4 stars
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