Mercenary Librarians #1

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Summary from GoodReads:

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.

ARC provided by Macmillan-Tor/Forge via Netgalley for an honest review.

This was such a fun and exciting read. It has great characters, lots of action and witty banter between smart and sassy characters. It was quite the page turner and was very hard to put down.

The story is mainly told through the two main characters, with occasional insights from the others. Nina is the leader of the Mercenary Librarians. She and the other two women she works with escaped from a Corporation that used and abused them. They all have their strengths, but they mostly just want to help the less fortunate around them. I loved that they had a printing press/book binder that they used to give books to the people in the neighborhood. Plus they had other things going on to help them as well. I admired all of these women, Dani was ruthless and didn’t take shit from anyone, and Maya was sweet but could be just as tough as the other two.

The Silver Devils is run by Knox. He is a brooding super soldier who is looking for a way out for his team and to help people as well. I also adored his team, Rafe the incorrigible rogue, the logical Conall who helped keep Knox in check and Gray who was a little off putting at times, but always had everyones’s back. They make a pretty awesome team and it is of course inevitable that as they get to know the women they decided that they can not turn their backs on them.

The plot is pretty basically a road trip in a post apocalyptic world. There are no big surprises as far as plot twists, except for perhaps who the villain is. The fun is in the two groups coming together and becoming not only a team, but a family that cares about helping those who are in need. The romance that develops between Knox and Nina is steamy and at times takes over the plot, but in a fun way. I would have liked a bit more as far as world building. I didn’t know when I picked this book up that this is a companion book set in an already well established world. There is enough related about how the world works that makes the world seem realistic, but I would have liked just a bit more about the corporations that created this group of super humans. But the slight lack of world building certainly does not take away from the enjoyment of the story.

Overall, if you are looking for a fun science fiction road trip book with a steamy romance to take to the beach with you this summer than this is that book.

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