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5 kickass stars!
I freaking love this series! Action, excitement and intrigue with passionate and intense against-the-odds romance all set in a dangerous and exciting post-apocalyptic world where the breakout of the Scorpius virus has killed off 99% of the population and the survivors cluster together in gangs in order to survive – fighting off rival gangs for territory and precious resources, while desperately searching for a cure, and working to rebuild civilisation.
Up until now, the books have been primarily set within the Vanguard group in downtown LA, but this book takes us to the Mercenaries – a group of military-like vigilantes who have claimed the beach area of Santa Barbara as their territory and who constantly battle but are also tentatively/sometimes allies of Vanguard.
The leader of the Mercs, Greyson Storm, is ex-Military, strong, enigmatic and ruthless. But we began to see a softer side to him with the introduction of Maureen Shadow (sister of Raze), who he took into his territory with the intention of using her biological science skills to investigate options for growing food… and to further his own secret agenda.
Maureen is an absolute spitfire. Intelligent and brave, she is furious at being dragged into Merc territory and essentially being held captive, and she has no intention of being quiet and compliant. She sasses Grey whenever he attempts to push her around, giving back as good as she gets.
But beneath all of that animosity, a sizzling attraction simmers. Grey and Moe want each other badly, they’re both just too stubborn to admit it, and the sexual tension is awesome!
“We’re having a problem right now, sweetheart.”
She swallowed, the fine line of her delicate throat moving. “Let go.”
“I’d like to.” He lied. “But you keep pushing. Just how far do you intend to take this.”
It all comes to a head one drunken night which ends up changing everything for both of them, and takes them, and the story, on a twisted, exciting and unexpected journey that I could not put down.
The action switches between the Vanguard and the Merc territories as the two groups battle and plot together and against each other. Both battling for control of new resources, they are forced to work together for the sake of all of their safety and their futures, and to fight a mutual enemy whose relentless pursuit only adds to the danger.
And in the middle of it all are Grey and Maureen. They want each other, and can’t keep away from each other, and God, I love them together! Underneath all of the surface-level hostility they have sensational chemistry, and they are hotter than all hell together.
“To make sure I’ve said this in the simplest terms, you’re mine. I’m keeping you.”
His? “I make my own choices, Greyson … You can’t have me,” she whispered.
His chin lifted, giving him an arrogant look that appeared natural on him. “Don’t challenge me, baby. Fair warning.”
But their emotional connection is also beautifully explored as they spend time together and get to know each other, and begin to open up and truly feel everything that is happening between them. I loved watching their fight to be together despite everything standing between them, and Grey’s alphaness and surprising sweetness towards the woman he is falling so hard for was just gorgeous.
Somehow, softness and fragility have survived the apocalypse. I’m not sure how to protect that.
Which, of course, leads to epic fireworks with Maureen’s brother, and resident Vanguard badass, Raze, comes into the picture. I won’t go into details, but the clashes between the two groups were absolutely fantastic.
The dynamics between the characters are awesome, and the shifting relationships between them are wonderfully developed as secrets are revealed, understanding is reached, and enemies become uneasy allies.
We get to check in with all of the characters that have featured in the books so far, and I loved every moment of it – seeing how things have changed and grown for them – but it is the scenes with everybody together just bantering and bouncing off each other that I truly loved.
“I’ve been working on it all morning, and I’m still trying.” Sami yelled back. “Bugger off.”
Jace looked at Tace. “Is she British all of a sudden?”
Tace shrugged. “We might’ve been role playing a bit last night.”
Jax groaned and held up a hand. “Stop. Just stop talking right now.”
And of course there is a fantastically kickass climax which had me holding my breath in anticipation, my heart pounding, and revelling in the awesomeness of it all. Seriously epic stuff.
To the death it is, then.
But even with all of that going on, the love story remains a focus. Grey and Maureen’s world is hanging by a thread and they have a lot to go through in order to be together. But time is still given to their personal journeys and the emotional issues that they need to deal with, and that part of the story is really beautifully done, giving us a gorgeous romance that had me swooning madly
“Whatever happens, you have to know, you’re it for me, Maureen Shadow. It’s only been you, and it’ll only ever be you. I promise.”
I loved this book. The blend of action, suspense, passionate romance, heartfelt emotion and laugh-out-loud humour is wonderfully balanced, and Rebecca Zanetti has once again given us an intense and exciting read that I could not put down. Her world continues to evolve and each book adds so much to the series, further developing the story and making it better and better. I can’t wait for Damon’s book up next!
Absolutely fantastic – 5 stars.
An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Scorpius Syndrome
Winter Igniting (#5)
To be released early 2018
For more reads like this one, see our Action/Adventure Recommendations Page
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