Indie Book Review: Disintegration by J.E. Purazzi

Disintegration, by J.E. Purazzi is Book 2 of the Malfunction Trilogy, a high-stakes dystopian sci-fi series.

Cover Image Disintegration by J.E. Purazzi
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What comes after surrender?
When Bas willingly returned to the Compound, Menrva swore his sacrifice wouldn’t be in vain. As Bunker hurtles toward an uncertain future, she determines to do whatever it takes to give humanity their best chance.
All Cowl can think about is rescuing Bas. He incites riots among the citizens in hopes of breaking down the doors, not knowing that Menrva’s abusive husband is staging a violent coup. Civil war breaks out in the Compound and Bas and Menrva are caught in the middle of it.
But something far more dangerous already stalks the corridors of the Hub. Something that is already taking control of Bas’ mind.

The second book in the Malfunction trilogy ramps up the tension and action, as Cowl, Menrva, and Bas must find the will to fight a battle that seems to have been lost from the beginning.

Menrva’s face tightened as she scanned Bas. “Tell me again that you’re fine.”

“We have a job to do,” he said.

“Let’s just hope we don’t get any trouble from this end.” she pushed past him and drew her gun.

“Be cool.” Cowl jerked the door open.

For my review of Book 1, Malfunction, please head over here.

The following will be a spoiler free review, out of respect for those who haven’t yet had a chance to read Disintegration. However, it will likely contain spoilers for book 1. You have been warned.

When reading the second book in a trilogy, you expect the novel to answer very few questions, up the ante, and begin some serious character development. A good novel will do all of these things, while also opening a whole slew of new questions.

Disintegration did not disappoint.

This book is a roller coaster of emotions from the get go, with no time for either the reader or the characters to sit and ponder what might come next. I’ll willingly testify that Purazzi has no mercy for her characters, and due to the extreme mental, emotional, and physical distress they are constantly subjected to, the character development in this novel is off the charts.

For Cowl especially–a character whose brashness has gotten him into trouble regularly–seeing him grow and take on responsibilities (in his own very Cowl way) was particularly rewarding. I loved the way it began to happen naturally as he was separated from his friends, his comfort zone, and was forced to adapt to survive. Cowl himself doesn’t appear to have realized by the end just how much he has changed over the course of the story and one can’t help but look forward to the moment when he realizes how much he has grown as a person.

Menrva, a character whose strength of will impressed me from book 1, also begins to grow and change. Already more mature than her fellow POV characters, she is forced to grow up still more, learning the nature of leadership and the incredible weight of being the one making life and death decisions.

Of the three, Bas is the one who experiences the least amount of growth in his character. This, however, is totally believable as his character has dealt with the most amount of mental trauma. As such, it is all the more impressive that he remains a rock of comfort for his two friends, even as he suffers as a result of who and what he is. His character is clearly set up for the big payoff in book 3, and I for one cannot wait to see it come to fruition.

The cast of side characters both grows exponentially and shrinks considerably during this book, as the high-stakes introduce you quickly, make you attached, and then snatch so many back. Those that remain are a fascinating bunch who could easily carry their own novels.

Plot-wise the story starts in familiar territory. We’re in the hub, we know who the bad guys are, and we are following our main characters through situations and emotions that immediately call us back to the end of book 1. As a result, despite the aforementioned high-stakes, the first half feels a tad slow. However, halfway through the book a new switch is flipped–the red button, if you will–and we go into overdrive.

As promised, the questions answered are few and the new ones posed are distractingly fascinating. You’ll find yourself wondering what’s coming next long after finishing the book.

Overall, this is another excellent read from Purazzi which you’ll be loathe to put down before knowing how it ends.

Have you read Disintegration? Who’s your favorite character? What’s your favorite sci-fi dystopian read?

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