Mercury StrikingTitle:  Mercury Striking
Series:  The Scorpius Syndrome #1
Author:  Rebecca Zanetti
Genre:  Romantic Suspense, Post-Apocalyptic
Published:  January 26, 2016
Publisher:  Kensington Books – Zebra
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

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

Read on for my thoughts on Mercury Striking.

There are times when a story or series grabs you and simply will not let go. The Scorpius Syndrome is such a series for me. If you have not yet read the prequel to this series which is Scorpius Rising (link to the review here) found in the anthology On The Hunt – then I would strongly suggest that you find it. Now. That prequel story sets up how all of this madness came to be reality – and why Lynne is so vital.

In a world gone crazy and a society that no longer exists there are now two types of people left – survivors who will do everything in their power to make it to one more day for there is always hope for something better than what just passed. And there are scavengers, those who will kill you without a thought for a moldy slice of bread or for simply being in the wrong place at the worst time possible. Scavengers also include the Rippers, those who survived the bacteria, yet are now mindless killers – and there is the absolute worst terror around, also Rippers but these survived with an enhanced intelligence that allows these serial killers to plot and plan their madness induced murders with a cunning and determination that will only be stopped with their own death.

Welcome to the new reality.

As the first full length novel in the series, Mercury Striking has the task of not only telling a compelling story, but setting up what this world is like now. I had no trouble falling into this world and accepting it as reality from the first chapter. The sense of desperate determination was my first thought when Lynne appeared on the page. Courage is often found in the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other and doing what is necessary – no matter what that might be.

Lynne has been through hell – and survived. In the last days of news stories and dwindling nationwide communication she has become either the Angel of Death or the only hope for mankind – depending on the propaganda and rumor mills at work at any given time. What she is truly is simply a survivor with two goals. Make it to Jax Mercury’s compound in Los Angles where she just might be able to salvage medical information hidden nearby that could possibly help turn the tide of this massive infection – and to bargain for the death of one man, one powerful man who because of the times has hidden his infected mad plans behind a facade. If she can do either, but hopefully both of those things then she can die knowing that she did all she could.

When the woman known as “Blue Heart” showed up on the edge of Jax’s territory, he had to admire or at least acknowledge her crazy courage. She stood bravely in the blinding headlights, calmly showed his men her indeed blue heart that glowed and pulsed an aqua color from the center of her chest and demanded to see him. Well, she found him. He didn’t know exactly what her agenda was, but there was no turning back for her now. She belonged to him now and the sooner she realized that fact the sooner they could get on to why she was really here.

I could easily write tons of more words about this compelling, intense story of a new world, a new reality. But at this point, you need to take up the story and discover the rest for yourself. Because beyond the beginning of Mercury Striking are twists and turns, sizzling sexual chemistry between Lynne and Jax, betrayals, and so much more that is the whole of reinventing a society, even a small one in the compound, where survival is the ultimate goal.

The secondary cast of characters is rich in diversity. Some will not make it beyond this story – others will survive, changed perhaps but still fighting for another day. Others have hidden agendas that will be slowly played out. And every single one is desperately trying, in their own way, to hold on to their humanity.

You don’t have to be a reader of post-apocalyptic stories to enjoy Mercury Striking. This is a compelling, action packed, intense look at what happens to a world gone crazy and those left behind to deal with a new reality.

I don’t think I can adequately convey how highly I would recommend this story. If I could give it 10 stars, I would. Yet, it is one that you need to experience for yourself for the small nuances, the changed mindsets, the constant underlying fear and tensions – these are things that you need to feel firsthand. Would I recommend Mercury Striking to any romantic suspense, mystery or even sci-fi reader? Hell yeah!

The next book in the series, Shadow Falling, is due out the end of this summer (August 30th at this time). And I cannot wait to get my hands on that one to continue the journey with these amazing characters.

(This review was originally posted on my hodgepodge review blog  Keeper Bookshelf  I’ve brought it over here because Haunted Bookshelf will be where the rest of the series will be reviewed (unless I get lucky and get another ARC of one of the stories, those always go to Keeper Bookshelf first) Because this genre specific blog houses my paranormal, suspense and mystery reviews, it’s a better fit – and I like to keep series together whenever possible  🙂  Both reviews were written and created by me.)

Available in paperback and for the Kindle