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!