Book 72 of 2015: Archon’s Queen by Matthew S. Cox

BOOK1

Secrets, guilt, and shame―Annabelle Morgan has them all in droves. Fortunately, only one can kill her.
Anna’s gift, psionic control over electricity, tends to go haywire in moments of high emotion. One such episode leaves her homeless after her father’s “accidental” death. She ekes out a modest life as a thief and freelance enforcer until a close call with a murderous government agency makes her turn to Zoom―a powerful hallucinogenic street drug that numbs her mind so the monster cannot get out.
Her safety blanket becomes a devouring pit.
In 2413 London, Anna lives in the gutter, unable to even keep work as an exotic dancer and prostitute. After ignoring her only friend’s pleas for years, it takes a pimp telling her she is too addicted to be useful to realize just how lost she is.
When a young addition to her circle of vagrants attaches to her, Anna attempts to turn away from Zoom. A job from her old handler ends on shaky ground, but introduces her to Doctor James Mardling, a university professor looking for people just like her. He offers the one thing she has always longed for: dignity.
His price, however, may just be too much to pay.

 I received this book from the author for an honest review.

Archon’s Queen is the sequel to The Awakened series by Matthew Cox.  I had read the first book, Prophet of the Badlands, recently and I was instantly sucked into Cox’s science fiction world. The first book dealt with the life of a young girl in a Mad Max like setting. In that book, she met the characters that appear in Archon’s Queen.

Archon’s Queen is set chronologically before Prophet of the Badlands.  However, I would recommend sticking to the way Matthew Cox has the series laid out. The first book is thriving with emotional turmoil and sets the tone for the series. The second book deals with the young woman known as Pixie, who you only see for a short bit in the first book.

What I love about Cox is that he writes strong female leads. He puts them through the ringer, but even though they are battered, these women come out stronger. Anna, or Pixie, is no different. I was rooting for her to pull through with her addiction and fear of the government. I wanted her to succeed. She is a smartass and could seem jaded, but there’s a piece of innocence still there. That is a very difficult thing to write. I felt Pixie was a complex character and it made me love her more.

The book deals with various problems with Anna’s addiction being the main driving force. It is her desire to clean up that sets her up for the events in the end of the book as well as her position in the first book. This book gave me an insight to Anna’s motives in the first book.

What is great about this book is that you see another piece of Cox’s world. This time the reader is sent to England and witnesses what the United Kingdom’s stance on psionics is. Note, it isn’t fun. Psionics who are registered are given a bomb in their head. One wrong move, look, or just because a person didn’t like them, the bomb could go off. It was that touch that made the world even more interesting. Not every country will have the same views on something and Cox presents that in a vivid manner.

Once again, I am wanting more of Matthew Cox’s Awakened world. I want to see what happens next, but I will have to wait.

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