All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti

on August 11, 2016

Shadow FallingShadow Falling (The Scorpius Syndrome #2)
Rebecca Zanetti
Zebra (Kensington Books)
2016, eBook
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Kennedy was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her skills as a hunter of men had gone from merely brilliant to full-on uncanny. Her mysterious rescuer wants her to put them to the test. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.

If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk.

And the way his arms wrap around Vinnie tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .

I enjoyed the set up of these two characters in the first book of this series, Mercury Striking. It’s a new world, somewhere around 90% of the population has been wiped out by the mysterious virus and what’s left is barely controlled chaos. Jax Mercury runs a tight ship in Los Angeles, ruling a compound of survivors with military precision but there are external threats everywhere.

And possibly an internal threat in the form of Raze Shadow, a former military man who offered his services as an officer in Jax’s army. Raze rescued Dr Vivienne Kennedy at the close of the last book from a truly terrifying situation and now seems personally responsible for her….but it becomes quite clear early on that Raze has an ulterior motive. He’s motivated by external forces and he’s going to have to choose what (or who) is most important to him.

I really liked Raze in the first book – what’s not to like? He’s a mysterious man with skills. I enjoyed his thoughts in this story but I had trouble with the character of Vivienne, who goes by the nickname Vinnie. Due to the drugs she was fed in captivity (and perhaps something else, hard to say) and the captivity itself, she’s a bit unstable, suffering night terrors, hallucinations and an internal monologue that borders on the hysterical. Possibly fair play, given what she’s been through but the internal monologue is mostly comprised of Raze and Vinnie waits all of about a week after being rescued from a terrifying situation as a hostage that was only going to end badly, to start wanting Rafe super bad.

Like I said earlier, I know it’s a new world and the rules of civilisation as I know it don’t really apply anymore. I did have trouble believing Vinnie’s recovery – I expected her to be far more of a mess after what she’s experienced and I would’ve liked to hear more about what was actually happening during her capture. I feel as though it was kept deliberately vague, perhaps in order to keep the man who captured her more sinister for not knowing much about him. This book is also a bit repetitive as it again features basically two women needing to be rescued from the same psycho by the same badasses.

What I did enjoy was the power play between Jax and Raze. Jax is unequivocally the leader and it’s not particularly a democracy. He’ll listen to suggestions and plans but ultimately he’s the one that makes the decisions. He gets taken by surprise in an alarming way in this book and I’m not sure that the resulting fallout really painted Jax in the strongest light. He came across as a good leader in the first book (with some flaws) but in this book he seems almost wearily stumped at times in a ‘why is this happening to me?’ kind of way. He does attempt to be a good guy, trying to make sure that no one is being coerced to do anything but at the same time, he seems vague about the overall problem. I think Jax was stretched a bit thin in this book and that he needed to promote a few to generals because he can’t rule over everything with the same eagle eye. His conversations and interactions with Raze regarding Raze’s questionable appearance and loyalty were really good though and the two of them ended up establishing a very good dynamic that would bode well for divvying up responsibilities in the future, were it to ever happen.

We meet a new crew in this book, the leader of which is certain to be featured in probably the 4th or 5th book as the groundwork was laid early here. There’s plenty of opportunity in this new civilisation to continue to draw this series out, flesh out the world more and explore the political ramifications. I’d like to see some more of that in the next book…….plot development is important and these books could end up feeling like you’re just reading the same ones over and over again if things don’t start to move along a little and the romance continues to take over. But I suppose with heroes with names like Jax Mercury, Raze Shadow, Tace Justice and Greyson Storm…..the romance/sex is always going to be strong.

6/10

Book #155 of 2016

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