Friday, January 20, 2017

Rebecca Zanetti - Mercury Striking

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne 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, Lynne is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…   

Comment: This is the book chosen for the book club I'm participating in. This is the first book I've read by this author and I was positively surprised. I might try something else after I read the books in this series, when that happens... This is the first installment in the Scorpius Syndrome series and I really hope all of them have the same structured plot and captivating romance.

In this book we have a catastrophist scenario, for a strange bacteria has infected the world's population, apparently around 99% have died and the remaining people are changed, for better or worse.
Lynne Harmony is a wanted woman, many thing she is cause of the bacteria and its spreading out, others say she wasn't clever enough to stop it, others even claim she might carry a worse strain within her body. What Lynne knows is she needs Mercury, a mercenary of sorts that will help her achieve her goals. She looks for him and is found but she didn't understand she would need to face more people in his group as well...
Jax Mercury is wary of this woman but she might be the key to find one cure or to at least find a way to help those in his care. What he didn't expect is for her to become so important to him.

I must say I still feel rather surprised by how much I liked this story. I mean, it's not a favorite but considering the theme and concept I think it's quite the surprise for me.
I have to say I'm not fond of apocalyptic stories that feature (often) the need for survival of the human species or how difficult it is to manage different groups or goals in surviving. Shows like The Walking Dead truly annoy me, not because I don't appreciate the psychological path characters take - which I do - nor due to the fact I hate blood and death - which I do, but... What really annoys me is how there's this need to focus on how bad things are, how people dream of hope but then we still die, good people die as much as bad people...yes, it can be realistic considering the world affairs but fo that we do have reality. I prefer shows and things where eventually the good guys don't ALL die or where there's a HEA somehow. 
This was what surprised me in this book. We still have glimpses of the wonders of the human race, for good and bad, but the focus is a romance story and that changes everything.

The romance isn't exaggerated to the point where the main characters don't think about anything else but it's was cute at time to see them slowly change because they were falling in love, even if their relationship didn't start as a romance, only a way to share something.
Jax is an intriguing character, he's strong and smart but he's not perfect and not a total alpha..he learns and he suffers and he protects those he considers his "family".
Lynne also grew up during her stay with Jax's group, she is a sweetheart but obviously people are suspicious of her. I liked how she never tried to be someone she's not.
Together, Jax and Lynne aren't the perfect couple, they don't always agree on everything, but the hopeful take they both have because they are in love is sometimes enough to support even terrible things...

The plot has a purpose, obviously. There are some weird types of humans that survived the bacteria and some of them turned into serial killers. These people are now the enemies and, of course, Jax and Lynne ae looking for a cure but will need to face one of these changed humans - called rippers - before any other solution can be discovered. There are battles, there are enemy groups trying to survive...I'm glad we didn't spend too much on that, Jax's group was what really interested me and not all the fights outside.
I hope the next book, featuring a different couple, is as focused as this was on the romance.

All things considered, I liked this book, I feel glad the author wrote things in a way that despite us being aware of dangers and having to face violent and sad things, there is enough goodness to counterbalance and there is always the romance to make it easier to read.
I'm looking for to read the next one, eventually.
Grade: 8/10

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