Saturday, July 18, 2020

Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians, #1) by Kit Rocha

Synopsis (via Goodreads): Orphan Black meets the post-apocalyptic Avengers in the vein of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author duo Kit Rocha

The United States went belly up 45 years ago when our power grid was wiped out. Too few live in well-protected isolation while the rest of us scrape by on the margins. The only thing that matters is survival. By any means. At any cost.

Nina is an information broker with a mission: to bring hope to the darkest corners of Atlanta. She and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to help those in need. But altruism doesn’t pay the bills—raiding vaults and collecting sensitive data is where the real money is.

Knox is a bitter, battle-weary supersoldier who leads the Silver Devils, an elite strike squad that chose to go AWOL rather than slaughter innocents. Before the Devils leave town for good, they need a biochem hacker to stabilize the experimental implants that grant their superhuman abilities.

The problem? Their hacker’s been kidnapped. And the ransom for her return is Nina. Knox has the perfect bait for a perfect trap: a lost Library of Congress server. The data could set Nina and her team up for years...

If they live that long.


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I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I don't know about Orphan Black and Avengers, but Deal with the Devil definitely made me think of Ilona Andrews and their Hidden Legacy and Kate Daniels series (two of my all-time faves)! This book was full of adventure, steamy sex, and the unbreakable bonds of found families. I devoured this book and cannot wait to see what happens next! The story had a satisfying conclusion, but the last chapter left me feeling totally floored. It was just so unexpected (giving me hope while also destroying a piece of my soul), but really sets up the next book!

I love stories that start off with a bang and hit the ground running, and Deal with the Devil did not disappoint! I never felt like the world was foreign to me, because the authors explained it through conversations and character observations. There was no info-dumping, just information gained from being immersed in the world. It was brilliantly written and explained, and I seriously could not put this one down. It's been ages since I read a book in one sitting, but I easily could have sat on the couch with this one and not gotten up until I'd turned the last page. It actually took me two days to finish this book (#momlife), but the story was on my mind even when it wasn't in my hands - - that's a good book.

The characters were amazing and really fleshed out. I adored Nina and loved her optimism even when faced with impossible odds. She cared deeply about others, and she was able to hold her own in battle and in bed (having sex with a super solider could potentially be dangerous, but she made it clear from the start that she wasn't fragile or gentle πŸ˜‰). Knox was all about control and discipline, and I laughed every time Nina thwarted his attempts to keep tabs on her and her group. He was also extremely committed to his team. He made it clear from the start that their lives were his top priority, even if it cost him something he wouldn't normally be willing to give. He would risk everything for Conall, Rafe, and Gray, which is why I understood his rationalizations when it came to Nina and her crew.

I still don't like it when a book's main conflict is a lie or withheld information, but I thought the authors did a wonderful job making it look believable. I was (mostly) okay with it this time, so I think that really says something. Knox was really struggling with himself and what decisions he could live with, and which ones would break him forever. He wanted to protect his team, but he also didn't want to sacrifice someone else to do it (even though he would have - - in a heartbeat - - if it meant saving someone on his team). His internal struggles were realistic and made the lies understandable and somewhat forgivable. It also wasn't the only conflict, so it was easy to focus on the other issues they were dealing with.

Both teams have to be careful with their identities and their histories, so they're unwilling to share too much personal information with strangers. There are bad people looking for all of them (although for very different reasons), so secrecy is their best defense. Unfortunately, they don't have all the resources they need, so they have to play dirty and get creative. I loved the sticky situations they found themselves in, and really enjoyed seeing them work together to get out of trouble.

The secondary characters were equally fantastic, and I really hope we see more of them in future books. I don't know if they're all going to be from Nina and Knox's perspectives, or if the authors are going to rotate through the characters. It's obvious who the pairings will be, but I still want to see them happen! I think they've set up future books really well, and look forward to diving back into this world in the future. (★★★★★)

15 comments:

  1. I like the sound of this, thanks for sharing your thoughts

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  2. I agree about all the lies in books haha. People could save themselves so much trouble if they just told the truth! Then again, where would the fun be in reading about that?

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    1. I was okay with the lying in this one, because technically he was paid to do it, AND it kept someone else safe and alive. His reasons were understandable, and the lie didn't actually impact the BIG CONFLICT. It just messed with their relationship, since the trust they had was broken.

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  3. I really like the sound of the plot in this though the steamy sex part is offputting as I could happily avoid it in the books I read! Mercenary librarians are a very tempting thing though...

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    1. If it makes you feel any better, the steamy sex is short and somewhat glossed over. You don't get all of the details every time, just enough to know they banged, and they banged hard. πŸ˜‚

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  4. Lindsi, this sounds like my kind of thing. Great review as always. I'm off to add it to my wishlist. ;-)

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    1. It was a WONDERFUL book! Highly recommend it! :)

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  5. I don't like the main conflict to be a lie either but this sounds like a pretty good book.

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    1. It wasn't the MAIN conflict in this one, but it was an underlying issue that kept popping up.

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    2. Well, it's the main conflict between the two POVs, but not the main conflict of the story, if that makes sense.

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  6. Sold! I need it. I want it. I had no idea what this book was about but I was curious at Mercenary Librarians but by the end of your first paragraph I was adding it to the TBR. :)

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    1. IT'S SO GOOD, NICCI! Please message me as soon as you've devoured it! <3

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  7. I still don't like it when a book's main conflict is a lie or withheld information

    Ahh, I'm glad it's not just me. This book kinda put me off early on with that, so it's good to know it still worked out for you. Maybe I'll give it another go...

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  8. Definitely give it another go! I thought the authors handled it very well. :)

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless