Also in this series: Mercury Striking
Series: Scorpius Syndrome #2
Published by Zebra on August 30, 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Dystopian Romance
Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Wellington 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 her tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
Shadow Falling is the second book in the Scorpius Syndrome series by this author. This series is set in a dystopian-post apocalyptic world and I am not sure why it has taken me so long to get to this series, I do think it’s one of the more brilliant series that she has done. Of course, I have adored just about everything that this author has written, and especially in regards to her world-building talents, she is at the top of the pyramid of authors for me. There is something that she crafts, a certain vibe that is felt so deeply within the reader that resonates in such a human way that I have simply appreciated from Rebecca Zanetti. I do think she is one of the more undervalued authors in the genre and while I didn’t love this enough to give it a 5 rating, I truly adored this book. I just wasn’t as immersed in the writing as I was in the first book and there were some other elements that I will get to later on in this review.
Shadow Falling is an intense filled that will get you to the edge of your seat that features:
- Raze Shadow– An ex-military officer, technically an AWOL, protector and defender, and brother
- Vivienne Wellington– recently rescued and deals with some unique psychic abilities, a survivor of the Scorpius Syndrome, and an FBI profiler before the infection decimated the world.
Vivienne was highly respected in the government and science circles before the bacteria hit their populations and is destroying their society, she was captured by the “claimed” President who was infected and now is a psychopath and a danger and seeking to destroy any who stands in his way. But he wanted Vivienne but then she was rescued and brought to a safe haven in California. Then Vivienne meets closed-off Raze Shadow, who has secrets of his own. She knows that he could be dangerous, but there is a powerful connection that builds very quickly between Raze and Vivienne. Raze isn’t as honest as he would like to be, and is here under false pretenses but his intentions are to do everything in his power to save his sister, but his loyalties are becoming divided between saving his baby sister or finding another way without having to betray the woman he is coming to love and the found family he has discovered in this haven. But there is more at work than meets the eye, and only when Raze learns to trust in others and build those strong bonds of family and friendship, will he be able to find what he has always been looking for including Vivienne, a woman he would fight to keep by his side….
We are who we are, and we’ve done what we’ve done. Heartbreak makes no difference
This was such a powerful story and from the moment that I found myself truly captured by this story, I was all the way into this one here. I didn’t want to let go of this pairing, and I just fell hard for Raze and Vivienne and wanted them to find smooth sailing towards their HEA. But of course, this is Rebecca Zanetti, so that doesn’t happen (HAHAHA) however you see such delights in the unique twists and turns in which this author is capable to building in such a satisfying way. You definitely will feel the moments of suspense and the “edge of a cliff” feels that I guarantee will capture your attention from beginning to end. You do realize from the beginning the intentions of the hero, so I am not really spoiling anything there. You really see how even in the beginning, he is torn by what he will have to do with Vivienne because he knows she is innocent and has already suffered at the hands of their sadistic President. But he will do anything for his sister. You see his deep bond of loyalty to those he calls “family”. You can see the evidence of how this infection has destroyed their world in so many ways. But what is most captivating about the story is the “found family” feel to this series. For those who are new to this series, this is set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic world where a dangerous bacterial infection permeated society, and if you didn’t get the right medication right away, you turned insane, or into a psychopath, or your mental functions changed. This small group of humans where some aren’t infected yet or those that have recovered are looking for a cure or treatment. But this has infection has devastated the world and you see the evidence of the good and the evils that human beings are capable of here. There is so much suspense and intensity packed within these books.
I’m doing this because I like you. By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.
The romance that we see develop between Raze and Vivienne is what I would categorize as a bit forbidden. I mean the hero doesn’t want to fall for Vivienne because he knows he will have to betray her and their group. But he can’t deny their instant connection (now this is more instant lust and not instant love) but the love part does build quickly but not to the extent that you will struggle with. It was so fun to see these two battle out their lust and yet aware but not fully acknowledge the deeper relationship that was building between them. I also will guarantee that this “secret” of our hero isn’t extended all the way through the book. It is revealed much earlier than I expected (which I was more than happy about) and I truly respected the heroine in how she deals with the reveal. You definitely see how torn the hero is about it and his conflicting emotions surrounding her. The heroine is a pure delight though. She is very savvy and on her feet smart, but not a “kick-ass” type. She is more of a scientist and I really liked the balance of this pairing. With the hero being so military-focused and the heroine more empowered in the brain capacity. I found they really balanced each other out so well. But there is definitely an appeal in this world in women knowing how to defend and protect themselves. But seeing our pair here learning to trust in each other and really understand the other in the best of ways was a plus to the story. And we do get some teasers from other pairings in the series so I definitely got a kick out of that.
I want you, all of you, as completely as I can get you. That means marriage and same name. Mine.
Overall I found Shadow Falling to be a delicious read and I am quite eager to continue on with this series here and see how Zanetti develops the world-building and see how this group will overcome what is against them. It’s a story that will intrigue your romantic reader’s heart in a way that will build your imagination in such a pivoting way.