Justice Ascending is the 3rd book in the post apocalyptic The Scorpius Syndrome series and I highly recommend starting at the beginning of this amazing series! Although you might be able to read this as a stand alone the overall plot and characters are introduced in the first two books both of which are spectacular reads as well.
This series centers around a world where a virus has spread across the world either killing them or turning them into “rippers”. The rippers are either zombies who live completely based on their instincts or sociopaths. The world has split into small factions where everyone is fighting for scarce resources. This series is bold, intense and set in a world you can imagine but hope you never have to live in! The characters are well developed and realistic and each book has an intense, hot romance.
Justice Ascending focuses on Tace Justice who before catching the Scorpius virus was the laid back, charming Texan. Unfortunately, when he was infected with the virus he wasn’t able to get a vitamin B injection right away (which keeps victims from the worse of the symptoms). Consequently Tace is changing. He’s noticed that he doesn’t feel things he should and he worries that he is becoming a sociopath. The only time he really feels strong emotions is when he is with or thinking about Samantha. Sami is a fellow soldier that Tace feels protective towards and one he can’t help wanting. Sami has noticed the changes in Tace. She’s always been and still is attracted to him but she has secrets of her own that she’s hiding and she’s worried that if she gets any closer to Tace he’ll figure them out.
No way was she getting involved with a brilliant bad boy who freely admitted he was about to go dark— especially since he was smart enough to figure out everything she was fighting so hard to keep hidden.
When Sami and Tace are sent on a mission together to get more information on the Mercenaries they both resolve not to get involved. There is plenty of action, lots of romance with some well written and very hot sex scenes and a chance to catch up with the secondary characters. I also found the secondary plot of the “church” fighting to keep those who have not been infected to be very interesting.
I loved the changes in Tace and how the author let us see flashes of his past charming and easy going personality mixed in with his dominant and darker side that is emerging. Sami was tough and yet had a softer side she was desperate to hide and I loved the way the dominant men in the group reacted when she finally broke down and cried.
“I kinda feel like you’re my little sister”
At those words, those kind words, she lost her anger and burst into tears.
“Holy fuck no.” Jax backed away, shaking his hands. “Don’t do that. God, don’t do that.”
“You made her cry,” Damon snapped.
“I’m….not…..crying,” she sobbed.
“Jesus.” Jax moved in and put both arms around her, patting her back like she was choking. Her ribs rattled. “It’s okay. Um, let it out.”
“Maker her stop crying, you asshole,” Damon growled. “I’m not gonna work here if you make nice women cry.”
“I’m trying,” Jax snapped back, panic lowering his voice. “It’s okay, Sami. I’ll talk to Tace. If he doesn’t forgive you, we’ll just shoot him. I promise.”
I really enjoyed the humor and the comradery between the Vanguards and the beginning of that between the Mercs. I also enjoyed catching up with Jax, Lynne, Raze and Vinnie and the fun, entertaining interactions between them.
“Tace punched me through the glass door.” Jax jumped onto the table.
Lynne paused. “Is he still breathing?”
“Yes,” Jax sighed. “He thought I made Sami cry, and he reacted, which was probably a good thing so they can get their shit figured out. So I didn’t kill him. See? I’m growing as a person.”
Once I started this book I couldn’t put it down and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. What will happen with the church? What will happen with Jax’s brother? I’m also hoping the next book will be about Greyson and Maureen.
Overall I loved this book! There were new reveals that moved the story forward and left me eagerly anticipating the next book in this series. Highly recommend this page turning, thrilling post apocalyptic book!