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

Rating: 7/10

Synopsis

Nina is an information broker with a mission–she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America.

Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…

Or they could do the impossible: team up.

This is the first book in a near-future science fiction series with elements of romance.

Review

I like the concept of Deal with the Devil. It is set in a near-future dystopia, and there are these two teams of people working to survive. Each person has their own specific skill set, and they are thrown together by circumstances and forced to work together toward a common goal. It promises a really interesting setting, and a lot of action and surprises. Not to mention one team is all male, the other is all female, so some level of romance is expected along the way, as well.

The book definitely delivered on the setting. I found this near-future setting where the Earth is in a kind of shambles from a destructive solar flare to be interesting and semi-realistic. The timeline is less than 100 years in the future, so much of it is familiar; at the same time, most of the technological advances are things that can definitely come to pass. The fact that everything is chaotic, as well, in a every-person-for-themselves way adds a much-welcomed edge to the setting makes it even more interesting. Add in an over-bearing government (because the planet was almost wiped out, so why not?), and there is so much to draw the reader in from the start.

The duo of writers that is calling themselves Kit Rocha also did a really good job of helping me connect with the characters. There is a lot of dialogue between the characters, and the story being told from multiple perspectives gives the reader a lot of time in the characters’ heads. This is a great medium for getting to know how characters think and feel, for understanding their motives and making a real connection. I cared what happened to them in the story, and that is really important.

That being said, in my opinion, there was too much dialogue and writing about the characters’ thoughts. That promise of an action-packed story that I thought was coming based on the description was never made good. The characters did go on a journey, and there were some surprises along the way, but so much of the book was everyone sitting around discussing things or talking about their feelings that it just started to get old.

One aspect of the book I am really conflicted on is the romance. I am not usually a huge fan of romance, but with the setup of this story I was actually looking forward to it. Forced friends on a mission, adrenaline pumping, sexual tension. Okay, bring it! But, just as with the dialogue, I thought the romance was overkill. It took up so many pages in the book that it took away from the adventure. Do not get me wrong, there are scenes where the pining and lusting paid off; the authors do not pull the curtain when the kissing begins. I love a good sex scene, and this book really delivers. I think it could have used more balance with the action, though. In my opinion, the authors missed an opportunity to write a great action book with a dash of romance and great sex scenes, allowing the romance and dialogue to overcome the rest of the story.

All-in-all, Deal with the Devil is a good book. It has a interesting setup, and really good character-building. You have to really be into romance to like it, though. If that is your thing, I recommend you read it.

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