Title: Under Dark Sky Law
Author Name & Publisher: Tamara Boyens (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: March 1, 2016 — 200 pages
Xero knows what she wants: absolute rule over Southern Arizona, a cure for the superbug that’s killing her best friend, and a decent bar of soap. Some are easier to get than others. At least, that’s what she thought. To save her friend, she needs antibiotics. Not just any antibiotics: Ketocillin. The dreaded Zaps are dissolving Trina’s lungs, and only the rare medication can save her. No problem: Xero is an expert smuggler. You want it, she ships it. As the ruler of the Tucson Exiles, she works as a double agent, hustling supplies for the government and pumping the desert full of designer drugs on the sly.
With whispers of a full revolution echoing through the desert, Xero questions her uneasy alliances with a shady Phoenix psychiatrist and a roving cyborg mercenary. Especially when Yuma goes kaboom, and her Ketocillin is destroyed along with it. Catastrophe looms, and she finds herself stuck in a complicated web spun from her biggest demons: money, germs, and drugs. As she’s sucked deeper into a net of convoluted schemes to dig up some Ketocillin, she would do anything for a simple hot shower. Who do you have to kill to get some soap? The body count climbs as Xero struggles to protect her friends and stay clean in a very dirty world.
I was pulled into this book from page one. I hadn’t expected to connect so quickly; however, within a few pages I found that I couldn’t put the book down. I read most of the book in one sitting, needing to know what happened to Xero, a flawed but loveable hero.
I enjoyed getting to know her crew and I loved the depth that Boyens gave to each of the characters. The dynamic of Xero’s group was enjoyable and I would have loved to get to see more of Trina after she was back on her feet. The plot was well thought out and executed; I was just as surprised as Xero with the reveal late in the book.
It was interesting to see this fresh new take on a dystopian world; the different in the domed cities versus The Breakers and so forth brought something new to the story. All of the descriptions were vivid enough that I could picture the landscape, yet not so long that I got lost in the details.
I was surprised at the dark and callous theme that was set early on in the book; however, it added to the dystopian feel and with it Boyens was able to tell exactly how things were in the world.
I had trouble in some instances seeing where paragraphs ended and new ones began due to the lack of indent. However, I tried my best to ignore that and I am glad that I was able to figure it out for the most part. I kept waiting for more than just teasing with Roja in their encounters. I understand her hesitance with Roja, especially looking so much like Evan, her late wife. However, the epilogue threw me a bit as it seems she and Roja are suddenly together. I would have loved to see more of how that happened so it felt less rushed, but I understand that the epilogue wasn’t really the place for that.
Those things included, the plot and characters ensured that I enjoyed the book immensely and I will definitely be on the lookout for any future books featuring Xero! Well done!
Tamara Boyens is what happens when a coastal Californian washes up among the prickly pears. Although she’s become a connoisseur of saguaro cacti and heatstroke, she is still a fish out of water who doesn’t actually like seafood. As a professionally trained linguist, she spends most of her time hanging around words, and usually those words are up to no good. When she’s not accidentally hugging cacti, she can be found at the bottom of a coffee cup in Tucson, Arizona.