It wasn’t that she couldn’t fathom the darkness of the world, or the cruelty of the people in it. She knew every day that she was living on borrowed time. She’d simply decided to embrace that time. To make the most of every hour. Of every second. To Live.
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley
Fans of the cancelled tv sci fi, Revolution, rejoice! With Maze runner post-apocalyptic vibes tied together with brilliance, sass and kick-ass, sexy heroes, Deal with the Devil was just what the doctor ordered.
Set in the near future, year 2086, in the crumbling ruins of Atlanta. Nina and her two closest friends make up the Mercenary Librarians. In a society scraping by after the power grid collapsed after the energy wars 45 years ago, knowledge is a scarce commodity. Only the small percent of the rich and powerful have access to it. Raiding vaults and hacking sensitive data is just another day at the office for the three women determined to protect and nurture their community eking out a living in slums. When they receive intel from a renegade squad on the hidden location of near mythological Library of Congress server, the opportunity is far too tempting to pass up. The problem is, can the Captain Garrett Knox and his team be Trusted?
Knox, a genetically enhanced super soldier, had dreams of heroism and upholding justice when he signed up for the Protectorate run by the all-powerful TechCorps. After realising his employers were more monstrous than the evils he witnessed on the streets in his youth, Knox and his team cut out their trackers and went AWOL. Now it falls on Knox to protect the lives of his loyal men. But when their biohacker, the only person willing to keep their enhancement implants from degrading, gets kidnapped, they’re forced to complete one more unsavoury mission or face a slow and painful death; deliver Nina alive or their Biohacker dies.
Deal with the Devil touches on political and environmental issues that have been steadily gaining focus in the last few years and gives credence and realism to the post- apocalyptic setting of this novel. Well written with an attention to detail only adds to the ease of slipping into the narrative to walk down the darkened streets Atlanta, much akin to Detroit in its worst era.
Each character was fleshed out and full of life and I’m happy to say I liked everyone. The dialog and banter between the two teams were fun and enjoyable. More than a few times I caught myself grinning from ear to ear or cackling out loud at their antics.
The pacing was really good too. Not once did I feel like a scene was dragging or there was too much talk and not enough action.
As for the romance between the Knox and Nina, spot on. Perfectly layered with tension, chemistry and fun banter between the two. Did not feel rushed and forced together. They complemented each other well, both as a romantic couple and as strategic leaders responsible for the lives of their team.
I thoroughly enjoyed Deal with the Devil. It’s was fun, unique and intriguing and once available for purchase, I will be adding a physical copy to my bookshelf as I know 100% I’ll be reading this one again and all that follow it in the Mercenary Librarians’ universe.