The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

*This review may contain spoilers, read at your own risk*

Quick Synopsis: An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate. Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, and to survive in any situation. Zephyr is a ward, a homeless person who is trained to kill. The state is controlled by Initiative, an organization that tracks the population with precision. (I recommend you avoid the Goodreads synopsis as it contains a spoiler).


Such as the case with the majority of the novels I decide to read, The Murder Complex received wonderful reviews and high praise from other bloggers and booktubers. Why they gave such reviews, I’ll never understand. I was hoping to follow this read up with another dystopian, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that a break is needed from the genre – which sucks as I usually take pleasure in reading dystopian.

Sadly, from the novels beginning, I found it a challenge to engage myself within the world. For the most part the story felt all over the place, too much time was spent during the equilibrium stage, leaving not enough time for the disequilibrium to play out – clearly making room for a sequel. The majority of twists and revelations were predictable, meaning they did not generate the desired shock factor, plus Goodreads failed to hide one of the most ‘shocking’ twists – so I recommend avoiding that synopsis. Another issue was the lack of detailed description, it was difficult to picture certain events and by the end I didn’t even know where the characters were within the world, the area’s appearance, or what was happening. It’s as if the author was too lazy to conjure up an image for the reader, as if the deadline was fast approaching and she decided to throw that book out there incomplete. I truly hope this is improved upon in the sequel, along with a more detailed insight into the world of The Murder Complex. Also, the cliffhanger ending didn’t exactly hook me, nor did it propel me into reading the sequel, this is due to it being completely nonsensical, leaving countless questions about what was actually happening.

Not all the characters were as generic as those in Nightfall, however, Kio certainly was. Kio is the main protagonist’s – Meadow’s – older brother, a character who could easily be replaced with a brick wall as his one personality trait was ‘tough guy’. He is the stereotypical older brother type, but he is stuck on the ‘fight’ setting as if he is an action figure constantly karate chopping in air for no apparent reason; all he seems to do is threaten and beat up Zephyr. Also, injuries were forgotten about almost immediately, and although it is explained in the novel how people heal, when someone’s ear gets blown off they have to feel it! The ear won’t grow back, they will feel that pain afterwards. But oh no! Can’t have an impediment on a character, let’s just forget it happened.

And lastly, certain events happened in a ridiculously small amount of time. One day our main protagonists, Meadow and Zephyr, were meeting the rebels and next day they are at the climax of the novel ready to tackle The Murder Complex. No, you need time to train for that, to ensure the strategy is pristine and everyone is completely prepared. Similarly, the love story was completely inappropriate in the character’s situations and the amount of time they knew each other, it’s reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet – in a negative way as I’ve never been a fan on instalove.

I’m struggling to find a positive aspect to this book as the negative is very overshadowing. By the end of the novel I found myself hoping the main characters would just die, hoping that their story would just end there, sadly no. Overall, this novel was such a disappoint, especially since I had heard great reviews. I would rate it a 2.5/5 stars.

What books do you recommend I read next? Have your read The Murder Complex? If so, what were your thoughts?

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