the murder complex by lindsay cummings

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.

After just about two centuries of not being able to finish a book (thanks, school), I finally got around to re-reading The Murder Complex by the wonderful Lindsay Cummings… and let me tell you how glad I am to have done this. Do you ever just stay too long away from a certain story, and you slowly start forgetting how great it is? This is what happened. I started forgetting how amazing this book is.
To start off, I’d like to warn some readers. This book is stuffed with rich descriptions and amazingly detailed scenes, but it is Tarantino-level gory. It’s dripping with blood and death and some really messed up morals, which might bother some of you. BUT, it’s not unnecessary violence (wow, it’s weird to say that), it actually makes sense in the context of the story and it is completely necessary to get the plot moving. It gives the main character, Meadow, a purpose and a reason to be so angry.
Let’s talk about Meadow; beautiful, deadly, super badass Meadow, who is so mature and tough. She’s 16 and has suffered through so much pain (physical and mental) and still remains level headed (I mean, it’s impossible to stay completely sane with all the crap she has to do). Things keep being thrown at her, like she’s some kind of tragedy magnet, and throughout the whole story I just kept thinking, it’s so messed up that Meadow is already a distrustful person, and every time she tries to rely on someone, something happens and she draws back into herself.
But Meadow isn’t the only one who suffers in this sincerely upside down world. Zephyr James, poor, poor Zephyr, who is so gentle and has such a kind heart, kept reaching out of those pages, and twisting my heart in his hands. Just like Meadow, he is a spit bucket for all the world’s calamities. He didn’t have a say on what he would do with his life, everything that has ever happened to him was controlled by the Complex. It’s awful. But he’s always trying to take care of everyone, taking on too many responsibilities, kind of like he’s trying to make up for all the things he did while under the Complex’s thumb.
I’m telling you, I don’t know how I survived reading this book. My heart completely shatters for tiny Peri. She reminded me so much of my brother, and thinking about a little kid being born into such a scrambled reality made me want to cry. Meadow does everything to keep her safe, and at these moments in the story, I could really identify with her. Peri is lovely, but the same cannot be said about the rest of her family. Meadow’s relationship with her brother and father is tainted with blood and guts, and sometimes I just wanted to reach into their world and strangle them both. But that’s pretty much all I want to do with their world, because that is one place I could not be father from (I’d die as soon as I step out of my house).
Lindsay Cummings has a wonderful talent for world-building and metaphors, and even though sometimes I felt like Meadow was a bit too stone cold, there is some major character development seeping through these pages. I’m not even going to mention the plot twists and the cliffhanger, because oh, my God, they’re all going to keep you in the edge of your seat.
So if you’re looking for a great dystopian read, this is it, my friend.