All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

on February 23, 2016

Mercury StrikingMercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome #1)
Rebecca Zanetti
Zebra Publishing
2016, 384p
Purchased personal copy

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

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 read a review for this one over at Shelleyrae’s blog and it immediately sounded intriguing. I absolutely love a good post-apocalyptic story and lately a lot of what I’ve come across have been YA so it was nice to find one that focused on adults and their predicaments after a devastating virus known as Scorpius wiped out a huge part of America’s population. It’s possible to survive Scorpius but virus affects the part of the brain that deals with empathy and survivors run the gauntlet from coolly efficient with a heightened sense of intelligence and reflexes to vicious serial killers to dribbling cannibalistic messes. Lynn Harmony was head of infectious diseases at the CDC before Scorpius and she’s a survivor, infected with a mutated version of the virus that turned her heart blue. She’s escaped from captivity and seeks Jax Mercury, aka the King of LA an ex-military man who raided food and medical supplies and established a bunker with his recruits. She needs his protection – and his help.

The setting was fabulous and you really got the sense of a country gone to hell and an every-man-for-himself law applying. Jax and his crew control a massive bunker with sections divided into quarters for sleeping, eating, medicine and combat training. They’ve amassed a stockpile of food, weapons, ammunition and medical supplies but all of these are dwindling, especially ammunition and medicine. Vitamin B shots are crucial in the fight against Scorpius and they have very little left. They are also constantly embroiled in a battle with a rival crew in LA, a gang known as Twenty who constantly attempt to raid them to take over their territory and gain their supplies. Jax and the leader of Twenty have history and it’s a very personal sort of conflict, not just one that’s erupted because of the situation.

Note: The following paragraph contains a mild ***SPOILER*** not crucial to the plot

I tried to see Jax through the situation – the world is chaos and he’s a leader, people depend on his strength and skills for them to survive. He’s emotionally disconnected from people however, preferring to lead from a distance and leaving the touchy feely stuff to Wyatt, his offsider/2IC. That being said though, I did find one scene in this book pretty hard to take. I understand Jax has to be hard, he has to be the sort of person that takes no crap and is in charge. It’s no longer a democracy and his word is law or you have to hit the road. I get that. But I don’t think it’s an excuse to hit a woman and I’m so bored of spanking without permission. She isn’t a child and this isn’t the 1950’s. And I don’t find it a good prelude to a sexual situation (which is what happened). It was the only time I didn’t like Jax and I thought the scene was weird, like what is this book are we fighting a disease or are we Christian Grey? Thankfully it was the only scene like that but it did have an impact on me and even though I did really like this book, I did drop a point off my score because of it. It should’ve been removed in the editing process – I don’t care about Jax enforcing his rules on Lynn, she goes to him for help and it’s to be expected. But taking off his belt and spanking her because she doesn’t believe he’ll hit her was like the author didn’t have the balls to actually make Jax hit her so decided to go with something else that had a sexual edge, like it’s not really hitting her, it’s a prelude to sexytimes. The thing is, it doesn’t work – it’s so jarring and out of place that it just felt awkward to read. And for some, it would be an automatic DNF and I get that. If I didn’t love the setting so damn much and if I wasn’t so curious about some things, I might’ve tossed up just chucking it aside myself.

End ***SPOILERY*** stuff.

Apart from that, I really enjoyed everything else. Lynn was smart and feisty – a bit hysterical at times and she wanted to argue for arguing sake it seemed some of the time but given what she had been through, I felt like I could cut her some slack. I found the stuff about the virus really interesting and the way in which it swept through the country and the reason for internet etc going down. I was intrigued by some of the secondary characters, especially Raze which is handy because in bk2, it looks like it’s going to focus on him. There’s still a bit of Lynn’s work left unfinished at the end of this book so I’m sure that’ll carry on as the series progresses.

Apart from one awkward scene I found this well written and exciting, a really good start to a series.

7/10

Book #26 of 2016

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One response to “Review: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti

  1. Megan says:

    I forgot about that awkward scene, and I agree it should have been edited out. It just did not work for me at all. That makes me want to go knock 1/2 a star off my review.

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