After feeling lost and bored with the first book, Mercury Striking, I had a better grasp of the world building in this book. The short of it: the world has been infected with a virus that causes people to go insane. Vitamin B given to the infected helps stave off the worst of the effects, but some become sociopath capable of logical thinking that is flawed with the need to kill. Now 99% of the US is dead, with Rippers (infected crazies) are running around. Civilization has broken down into several groups like gangs, mercenaries, the former government and others who group together to survive.
Vanguard is a small community that Jax Mercury created from the first book. Raze Shadow is one of his lieutenants with lots of secrets Jax wants access too. Raze has a mission. One that could get him killed by Jax, but one he has to complete to save someone he loves. Rock meet hard place. One woman is key to his mission and he has just found her: Vivienne Kennedy.
Vivienne Kennedy has been the prisoner of the president for too long when Raze rescues her. Infected and kept on mind altering drugs during her captivity, she now thinks she is either going crazy or has some weird supernatural powers like reading minds. The one constant is Raze, who seems to be there just when she needs him most. Having profiled for the FBI, she has unique background of reading people and gaining their secrets.
Wooheee this one was a ride. The men are definitely alpha in this series. They have no problem meeting out domestic discipline when needed, but also fiercely loving the women who they choose. Raze is conflicted. He can’t love or have any affection for the woman he needs to save his own loved one. Fighting hard not to like her, he pushes while also pulling her into his web. Little things like putting socks on her feet, grabbed my heart. He wasn’t a bad guy, just a guy who did what needed to be done and damn his heart in the process.
Vivienne, or Vinnie, is coming off a traumatic time as a victim and the world doesn’t have time to cuddle her up or wait for her to heal. She’s strong and to hell with being a pussy, she is going to get her life back. The little voices speaking in her head shouldn’t be a problem right? She knows she shouldn’t be seeing people like her stepmom who’s dead, so knowing that, but still seeing it isn’t crazy right? Night terrors wake her up, but she has a job to do, seeing all the people who needs someone to unload burdens onto.
One week, that’s all this book takes place in. It feels like a lifetime, but really, it’s only one week. Raze makes decisions fast and furious with is deadline looming. Jax is determined to figure out what his secret entails. Vinnie wants to contribute to her new home, while Lynne wants to find the bunker and a way to make the body generate vitamin B. Oh, and let’s not forget Taze, the medic, who was infected in the last book. Not quite crazy, but he isn’t feeling much in the way of emotions. Throw in a crazy cult leader, some mercenaries, a former gang and the crazy president and you won’t be able to put the book down.
This book has it all and now that I am not so confused, it hit all the right points with me. Passionate sex against a wall, dominant men who love their women, crazy people who want to rule the world. I couldn’t get enough of Raze and all the delicious things he did to Vinnie’s body.
Now, I could have done without Vinnie reading minds. It was kind of an under developed side product that we only saw a couple of times. It was almost like it was supposed to be something big and got forgotten. She did see a dead person a lot, but after a while you just figured that person was her subconscious trying to protect her. With a new world, anything is possible I guess, but I wanted it developed a little better.
I recommend this to anyone who has read at least book 1, otherwise most of the outlying story won’t make sense. The love between Raze and Vinnie is pretty straight forward if not too fast for a forever after all. You get enough secondary characters to keep the story going and the love alive for all the characters. If you are looking for a change of pace from contemporaries, this one will rock your world.
Catch up on the series!
Sophia Rose’s Review
Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti
After reading the teaser chapter at the end of Mercury Striking, I was well-primed to get Raze and Vinnie’s story. It’s after ‘the end of the world’. People either get tough or die and they do it in interesting ways. Rebecca Zanetti has captured a dark, gritty atmosphere, planted solid characters who blend with the setting well, and given the dire situation a series and book plot to keep the reader at it late into the night and wishing the next book was available now.
This is book two in the Scorpius Syndrome series and builds on the prequel and book that came before it. I include the prequel because it really does set up this series and what is to come not to mention a key player from the prequel is now brought back into the picture.
Shadow Falling opens right on the heels of the story before it. Jax has returned to Vanguard with Lynne, but Raze, the enigmatic and quiet, yet capable warrior has returned with an unexpected rescued woman, Vivienne Wellington. Jax is happy to have the fragile woman around to act as profiler and shrink since that was her career with the FBI, but for Raze, she is the key to getting his captured sister back from the Mercs another survivor group like Vanguard.
Vinnie was drugged to the hilt and she’s pretty sure it fried her brain. She hears voices and is hallucinating about a step-mother who died years ago. Her nightmares are fierce, but she is happy to be in a relatively safe place and be needed by the people around her. Raze is the hero of her rescue, but she can tell that the man is conflicted about something and she’s part of it. Between helping Jax and the crew figure out a conflict between the Pures and the Infecteds led by a delusioned new ‘preacher’, and helping those who are on the edge of sanity from all they are going through, she shouldn’t be falling for a shadowy man with secrets.
Meanwhile, President Atherton and his group continue to search for the Bunker just like everyone else since it looks more and more like it contains the answers to Scorpius. On a side agenda, he has dark plans for when he recaptures Vinnie Wellington and Lynne Harmony and smashes Jax Mercury.
Alright, so I probably tipped my hand there with that intro. Yes, this was a fantastic read and I am thirsty for more. I love how the author engages me deeply and leaves me curious to the get the answers to my questions while excited to see more post-apocalyptic action and romancin’.
The set up of this one had me going right away since I knew Raze was stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to Vinnie and his sister. Trade one life for another? It was an easy decision before he got to know Vinnie.
And Vinnie, she did indeed make things tough for Raze. She was so cute and adorable when most people are running around serious and grim. She babbles, she laughs and smiles, and she really cares for those around her.
This pair were a delight. I’ve always loved it when tough, hardened warrior types fall for the adorable, soft opposites. I laughed so hard when he pulled an alpha-move on her and she kicked him in the nuts before racing away knowing she was going to get it when he recovered.
Beyond this pair, the Vanguard cast of characters introduced in the first book are a wonderful group of friends and family of a new sort. Jax and Lynne still get page time in the background as well as Tace and Sami. I am so intrigued by the hints that the original pair from the prequel are still out there and busting up Atherton and the other deadly Rippers’ plans. But I also enjoyed the inclusion of a new pair of intriguing characters in Raze’s sister and her Merc captor.
The hope and mystery of The Bunker has everyone’s interest and things are converging as the hunt is on for this promised place with all the answers. Things are building for something pretty intense in this series. Can’t wait!
In summary, dark, gritty, suspense, action, and romance in a post-apocalyptic world was abso-fab and my only frustration is I want Jupiter Ascending now. I recommend this series whole-heartedly to those who enjoy zombie-apocalypse romances.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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