Release Reviews: Justice Ascending: Rebecca Zanetti

Justice Ascending
Rebecca Zanetti
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Expected January 31, 2017

Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly... and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he's lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there's no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she's one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she's not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she'll face even that hell again to save him.

 Graphics from author's Facebook page

This series still intrigues me. I do not read many dystopian books, but I bought into the world building of this post-apocalyptic series and have become attached to the characters in these three books.

This one features Tace Justice. He was formerly a charming, likable guy who was also a good soldier and medic. But after being infected with the Scorpius bacterium at a time they did not have treatment supplies, he has been showing some changes physically and in personality. He is becoming darker...more compulsive, controlling, calculating, and deadly. He is also exhibiting some new physical symptoms that are debilitating and could be serious. Although he is just stoic enough to try to hide them. Part of his new obsessive behavior also seems to focus on his fellow soldier, Sami Steel. 

Sami is one of their best fighters. She is tough, strong, creative, smart, and caring. But she also is harboring some secrets and has been lying. She has had her eye on Tace for awhile, but now their interactions seem to be becoming more volatile and sexually charged. They fight (not just verbally but physically too), they flirt, and they combust. But they have to be careful due to their close working relationship.

In the middle of chaos, these two are beginning to connect. But due to Tace's changes, it is hard to tell if it is a good or bad thing. Some of their interactions are a bit hard to take because they are physical and not really friendly. They are both so strong, stubborn, and do not readily show emotions, so it takes a bit longer to believe in them as a couple. These are two strong fighters who both like to win and be in control. His new feelings of overprotectiveness are not appreciated by the fiercely independent fighter, Sami. They have a lot at stake and the repercussions do not only affect them. And if their secrets and lies are exposed, drama and discord is bound to ensue and cause fall-out.

The group at Vanguard is growing with new couples and strays, but they also have enemies. There is a very tentative alliance and interactions ongoing with the Mercenaries, but it could change quickly. The religious, non infected Pure are still not cooperating. And there are the true ruthless enemies of the President and his Elite fighters, the gang 20, and the dangerous predators, the Rippers. It is all they can do to keep the group at Vanguard safe while trying to attain their needed goals for their survival. For example, finding the Bunker for  treatments or a cure for Scorpius, that is now even more important with Tace showing unconventional symptoms. And the constant need for supplies, water, medicine, and food is never ending.

All of the characters from previous books are back including the couples Jax and Lynne and Raze and Vinnie. There are plenty of other side characters that could have potential stories that have been teased at with  Greyson, Maureen, Damon, April, and a few other new ones that are intriguing.

I enjoy visiting this gritty, dangerous, desperate world and these characters that are survivors. They are flawed, strong, stubborn, volatile, and crafty. They value loyalty to their core group, but are not adverse to betraying other groups. Each day comes with new trials and tribulations that can mean life or death. Injury and death are common occurrences. They have everything to lose and a whole lot to fight for. But underneath the death and drama, there is underlying humor, sarcasm, and camaraderie within the group that helps to lighten it a bit.

This series really needs to be read in order. The overall story arc of their finding answers and a cure has been a slow process as we are now three books then and getting some answers, but there are still plenty of loose ends and things not resolved. We are getting happy-for-nows with the couples, but they all still have a long way to go to be anywhere close to safe and settled. There are still plenty of enemies and threats. I am not sure how many more books she might have planned, but she seems to be setting it up for more.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
As this series progresses, life post-Scorpius virus only gets tougher as the survivors deal with threats from within, threats from the outside, and the constant fear that Scorpius will win.

Tace, formerly the smooth talking slow drawling Texan, has undergone some personality shifts since contracting the Scorpius virus. After Scorpius, his emotions, his feelings are gone. But he is intrigued by Sami, despite his lack of moral compass. While he doesn’t often recognize himself anymore, when Sami is around, he finds he feels closer to his old self.

Sami is hiding her past, her truth, as she finds a home with Vanguard. And the further into Vanguard she grows, the more she wishes she didn’t have her secret, because it’s only a matter of time before someone figures it out.

I continually enjoy watching the Vanguard inner circle work together. They are a family. Not just the inner circle either: these men and women take seriously the trust the other people in the compound have granted them. In the turmoil and uncertainty of the world post-Scorpius, the leadership of Vanguard are not taking the trust of their people for granted.

Sami and Tace have circled each other for much of the series, with the two often butting heads on decisions and strategy. Now that they are in closer quarters, the headbutting continues, as well as a little extra! These two are both fighters, and as such, are both strong willed, a little on the stubborn side, and used to getting their way. But they are each hiding secrets that could tumble everything they’ve worked to gain.

This piece of the larger series storyline finds our Vanguard group facing uncertainty and threats from multiple sources. While there are trust issues between the Vanguard and the Mercs, sometimes tough situations call for whatever allies can be scraped together. The continued threat from the President and his Elite Forces is also not to be taken lightly. Between these two, there are some major threats coming the way of Vanguard. 

While this entire series has kept my attention, there is a driving force behind this plot that kept me particularly riveted to the story. The entire book is fast paced and page turning, and the last 25% was one I couldn’t put down at all. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Scorpius Rising (Pre-quel)
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**Also part of the On The Hunt Anthology

With a deadly disease spreading like wildfire across the country, microbiologist Nora Medina needs to focus all her energy on stopping the pandemic. Playing with dynamite—in the form of her way-too-hot ex—is the last thing she should be doing. ​But forced to work with Deacan McDougall against unexpected enemies with the seconds ticking by, she knows the explosion is coming... 

Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome #1)
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Our 4.5 star reviews

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynn Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynn is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…
Danger has never looked quite so delicious…
Shadow Falling (The Scorpius Syndrome #2)
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Our 4 star reviews

Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Kennedy was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her skills as a hunter of men had gone from merely brilliant to full-on uncanny. Her mysterious rescuer wants her to put them to the test. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.
If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk. And the way his arms wrap around Vinnie tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .
Rebecca Zanetti Website/Facebook/Twitter

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes dark paranormals, romantic suspense, and sexy contemporary romances.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day--or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.


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