STORM GATHERING (Scorpius Syndrome #4) by Rebecca Zanetti-a review
About the book: Release Date September 19, 2017
Even before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Greyson Storm was a lone wolf navigating minefields. As a kid, he learned to take a hit and find safety. As an adult, he joined the military and quickly learned how to protect and defend. When the world ended, he created a mercenary camp with military precision, no entanglements, and a promise to avenge a fallen friend. As part of that vow, he kidnapped Maureen Shadow, but now that he has let her go, her blue eyes and intriguing mind keep haunting him…
As possibly the only Biotechnology Engineer still living, Maureen Shadow might be humanity’s one hope to survive the aftermath of Scorpius, making her frighteningly valuable to both allies and enemies. Even after sexual tension explodes with Greyson, she’s not sure which camp he belongs to—friend or foe? Worse yet, survival may mean thwarting his prime mission, putting her in even more peril. When danger and seduction collide, there is no safety in this new world.
REVIEW: STORM GATHERING is the fourth full-length installment in Rebecca Zanetti’s adult SCORPIUS SYNDROME cross genre Sci-Fi/ UF/Dystopian series focusing on a biological pandemic sweeping the planet that has already killed 99% of the world’s population. This is US Marine sniper Greyson Storm, and biotechnology engineer Maureen Shadow’s (Raze’s sister) story line that looks at life in the aftermath, and the fallout from an unknown bacteria-from space. For more background information and some history, there is a prequel novella-SCORPIUS RISING-which can be found in the ON THE HUNT anthology (August 2015).
NOTE: Some of the premise of STORM GATHERING runs parallel to and crosses over with the events of book three-Justice Ascending.
SOME BACKGROUND: Some of those infected with the biological virus have survived to become something known as a Ripper, but there are two types of Rippers inhabiting the world-one is a zombie like creature who feasts on the living; the other is a survivor whose brain has been altered resulting in a stronger, more powerful enhanced human being sometimes bordering on the sociopath ideology with delusions of grandeur, obsession and hate. If you are a fan of the series The Walking Dead (or Mad Max), you will see many similarities in the story line premise including the search for food and supplies, attacks of the ‘undead’, and various groups of survivors vying for power and control.
Told from several third person perspectives including Greyson and Maureen STORM GATHERING continues to focus on the struggle to survive as the depleting inventory at the Vanguard compound and Mercenary territories begins to push at the fragile hold each has on their safety, sanity and dwindling reserves. As head of the ‘Merc’ faction of post-apocalyptic warriors Greyson Storm is desperate to find more food and weapons for his growing population of forgotten refugees. Enter biotechnology engineer Maureen Shadow and the woman with whom Greyson will fall in love. What ensues is the back and forth, tepid relationship between the Vanguard compound and Mercenary territory; the struggle in their search for supplies; and the continuing attacks by the government’s Elite Forces, and the self-proclaimed president of the USA- a man once infected by the Scorpius virus who has since become a sociopathic Ripper. Greyson Storm is on a mission not only to protect the woman that he loves but to take down a tyrant desperate to take control of the few remaining resources .
The relationship between Greyson and Maureen begins as a one-night stand following Maureen’s abduction from the Vanguard compound. Greyson’s attempts to secure a future for the many mouths he has to feed finds our hero taking risks including the kidnapping of the woman with whom he will fall in love. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. The sexual attraction is palpable; their energy is passionate and sensual. Greyson’s protective instinct goes into over-drive where our story line heroine is concerned.
There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Tace and Sami (Justice Ascending), Vivi and Raze (Shadow Falling) , Lynn and Jax (Mercury Striking), as well as Greyson’s second in command Damon Winter, Marcus and Dr. Penelope. The requisite evil, aside from the Scorpius virus, has many faces including President Bret Atherton, and his Vice President Lake. Damon Winter’s story is next in Winter Igniting.
The world building continues to focus on the search for a cure. With the growing number of scientists and researchers under protection at the Vanguard Compound and Mercenary headquarters, the intrepid group of survivors starts locating some of the hidden files that focus on the bacteria and a potential cure. A possible merger between the two camps may be required if everyone is to survive the ongoing wars, and the raging wild fires burning out of control.
STORM GATHERING is an edgy, encouraging and engaging story line. The premise will captivate your attention; the characters are colorful, animated and determined; the romance is hopeful and seductive.
Copy supplied through Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy