BOOK REVIEW: The Death Code – by Lindsay Cummings

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Title: The Death Code
(The Murder Complex #2)
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Thriller
First published: May 26th 2015
Finished reading: January 20th 2016
Pages: 496
Rating 4,5qqq

“There’s hope in there somewhere. There’s always hope. Sometimes it just takes a little patience before it shows itself.”

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I read and loved The Murder Complex last year. Since I’m trying to finish some of my pending series and I wanted to know how the story continued as well, I decided to finally pick up the sequel. The Death Code turned out to be just as good as the first book, although slightly different. The world in this series is dark, violent and might not be for everyone, but I personally loved it. Lindsay Cummings writes in a way that makes you want to keep on reading. The chapters are short and the POV switches between the two main characters Meadow and Zephyr, which helps you understand both characters and their relationship. The prose is easy to read, the pace is fast and I liked the fact that the plot wasn’t a copy of the first book. The Death Code is a proper dystopian story set in a world I wouldn’t want to live in myself… Which makes it all the more simple to connect to the characters. If you like the genre, I would definitely recommend this series!

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WARNING: do not read this summary if you haven’t read the first book in the series yet! It will most likely contain spoilers, even though I’ve made sure to keep it short.

The sequel starts a few weeks after The Murder Complex ended. Meadow is kept prisoner and is tortured without result, and Zephyr is both trying to keep her secret and find a way to save her… Meadow in the meantime is determined to resist and find a way out to find her brother, father and little sister. She promised herself to never give up until they are safe, but that is easier said than done… And it seems that they were finally able to guess her weakness. Will Meadow and Zephyr overcome their difficulties and find a way to achieve their goals?

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The Murder Complex series went straight to my favorite YA dystopian list. I really enjoyed both books even though the world the story is set in is actually quite dark and violent… The characters and plot are interesting and the two books really complement each other. In The Death Code Meadow and Zephyr dive into the unknown, and that turns the sequel into a whole new story… The pace is fast, the prose itself is well written and I would recommend this series to anyone who wants to read a good and dark dystopian read without many sappy romance scenes.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Fear Trials – by Lindsay Cummings

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Title: The Fear Trials
(The Murder Complex #0.5)
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Thriller, Novella
First published: May 17th 2014
Finished reading: October 29th 2015 
Pages: 100
Rating 4,5qqq

“We have choices. We can die, or we can choose to fight so that we may live.”

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In a way I wish I would have read this prequel novella a lot sooner, because it would have definitely convinced me to pick up the first book right away. The Fear Trials is entertaining for those who have already read The Murder Complex (like me) or perfect for those who are not completely convinced they want to read the series. I agree The Fear Trials is not for everyone and those who don’t like violent stories are probably better off staying away from this one. But if you like a good dystopian thriller this series is perfect. Both the plot, worldbuilding and the characters are very well done and it shows even in this short novella. It is the perfect teaser for those who are thinking of trying this series and I would definitely recommend reading it if you enjoy the genre. Lindsay Cummings‘ writing is excellent and you won’t be disappointed!

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Meadow Woodson has been trained by her father to survive in a dystopian world where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate. As a rite of passage in their family, Meadow has to complete the Fear Trials with his brother as her competition. The trials are supposed to harden her and prepare her for the violent world outside of their houseboat… Her brother doesn’t seem strong enough to do what he must do, but will Meadow end up being strong like her father? Will she be able to complete the fear trials en finally claim her own weapon?

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The Fear Trials gives you a glimpse of the violent and crazy dystopian world the main characters have to survive in every day. The worldbuilding is very well done (even in this novella), the prose is excellent and the pace is fast. If you enjoy dystopian thrillers and don’t mind a healthy dose of violence, you will probably love this series. And even if you are not fully convinced, this short novella is the perfect way to find out if this story is for you. Recommended!

BOOK REVIEW: The Murder Complex – by Lindsay Cummings

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Title: The Murder Complex
(The Murder Complex #1)
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Thriller
First published: June 10th 2014
Finished reading: October 21st 2015
Pages: 398
Rating 4,5qqq

“I remember the one thing I have always known all along. I am not my mother’s daughter. I do not run from fear, but dive into it headfirst, the way my father taught me.”

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I’ve had The Murder Complex on my TBR pile for a while now and mostly kept putting it off because of mixed reviews. I’m glad I finally picked it up as part of my Halloween reads, because I end up more than enjoying this story. It’s an interesting read full of action that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration of the story. It does end with a pretty big cliffhanger and I’m glad I already have a copy of the sequel or else I would definitely be suffering. I especially enjoyed the worldbuilding behind The Murder Complex and Lindsay Cumming‘s prose reads really easily. The dual POV’s are well done and follow two very interesting main characters: Meadow and Zephyr. Switching back and forth between these two teenagers really makes the story dynamic and I was able to read this fast-paced novel in no time at all. I can see why this one wouldn’t be for everyone and some scenes might be disturbing for the more sensitive, but if you like a good YA dystopian action thriller, The Murder Complex would probably be a great choice.

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Meadow is fifteen and has been trained by her father to fight and survive any situation ever since she was little. Murder is as common as daylight in the world they live in and sometimes you have to kill in order to stay alive… The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that keeps track of the population and controls the rations with precision. They also decide over life and death, but nobody really knows about it… Programmed assassins start their hunt every night to eliminate those inhabitants who have been chosen randomly. When Meadow meets Zephyr, both their lives will change forever.

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The Murder Complex is an action packed dystopian thriller with a very interesting worldbuilding. The prose reads really easily and the pace is fast, making this into a very entertaining read as long as you don’t mind some slightly disturbing scenes. The main plot is all about trained assassin teenagers killing of people randomly at night after all… This novel by Lindsay Cummings might not be for everyone, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would say it’s a perfect Halloween read. I will be reading the prequel and sequel ASAP myself!

WWW Wednesdays #62 – October 28th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have finally started reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, although it’s still too early to say if I like it better than the first one. I’ve also started the prequel novella The Fear Trials by Lindsey Cummings… I’m going to try and finish this series ASAP. And I’ve put Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on hold until November because there is no way I will be able to finish it before the end of the month anyway. It’s not that I don’t like it so far though!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I didn’t have that much time to read last week and I was also quite distracted by my new food blog Easy Peasy Delicious Food, so I only managed to finish three books.
* The first is The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, a read I really enjoyed and I will be reading the sequel soon as well.
* Next up was Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, a very entertaining and well written read.
* Last but not least: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Quite a short read, but not as good as I hoped for.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to read Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake… I loved the first book and reading this one also means I will finish another series. Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender… I should also read Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver since it has been appearing on my monthly TBR and WWW posts for ages. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until the month is over.

WWW Wednesdays #61 – October 21st

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I am currently reading two titles I have been wanting to start for a while now: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The first is a really fast and entertaining read so far, so I will most likely finish it first and then continue with Outlander. I’m not too far into that one yet, but so far things are looking promising!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Four finished books this weeks, which is not bad at all considering I didn’t have that much time to read.
* The first is The Girl Of Fire And Thorns by Rae Carson; a title I picked up because I was in the mood for a good fantasy read. I really enjoyed this one!
* I then finally finished And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, completing my two TBR challenges. Yay! I didn’t enjoy this one as much as his other work though…
* Next up is Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, which I LOVED! It’s such a creepy and perfect Halloween read! I’m going to read the sequel ASAP.
* The last one is On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, a read that starts out really confusing and I’m still not completely sure what to think of it.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I will pick up when I finish The Murder Complex will be my only pending ARC Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart. After that, I will probably try to finally read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey… Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender since I’m trying to read a bunch of creepy books for Halloween. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until I’ve finished most books on my October TBR.

Friday Finds #2 – June 20th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered this week and added to my readinglist. I’m an ‘adding junkie’ and my TBR list at Goodreads is already exploding, but I still love to find new potential treasures. Below a selection of my newest finds; what about yours? Any interesting new books you’ve found lately?

My finds:

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