Book Review: Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha
The Mercenary Librarians are a team of three women, Nina, Dani and Maya, trying to hold together a small repository of information and help their community in a post-apocalyptic Atlanta some 60 years into the future, in a dystopian world where the BioTech giants have basically taken over everything. Approached by a team of ex-military mercenaries with a proposal to find a huge score of digitised information (the Rogue Library of Congress) Nina can’t resist, even though she knows there’s something shady about Captain Garrett Knox. Knox doesn’t want to sell the librarians out, but with his men’s biotech implants degrading by the day, he has no choice if he wants to save them all.
I really loved how badass Nina, Maya and Dani were. Genetically engineered and raised from birth to be weapons (in Nina and Dani’s case) and a living information repository (Maya) they were far more likely to ride to the rescue than need helping out themselves. Whereas Knox’s team were selected, enhanced and trained for their skills as adults (excluding tech geek Conall). Both teams have lost too many loved ones, suffered too much. None of them are prepared to give any quarter in the fight to save the rest… until they get to know each other and realise they’re more alike than they want to be.
The world is well realised - I understand it’s carried forward from a previous series which I haven’t read, but I had no problem understanding what was happening and the information was well conveyed, without info-dumping. There are a couple of very hot sex scenes, more than I’d really expect to find in a dystopian fantasy, but I don’t think it’s really a romance because while Knox and Nina are the primary two characters here, we spend a lot of time in the POV of everyone else… of all the characters featured, I think only the biohacker Luna, who spent most of the book off-screen as a hostage, didn’t get any POV chapters. There are a couple of other romantic pairings which look likely to be centred in the rest of this trilogy, although a couple of late-arriving characters might provide some curve balls in that respect. I’m very much looking forward to finding out, because I absolutely loved this. Five stars for a fantastic dystopian fantasy heavy on the romance.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.