This Cruel Design
by Emily Suvada
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Young Adult — Science Fiction
Cat thought the Hydra epidemic was over, but when new cases pop up, Cat must team up with an enemy to fix the vaccine before the virus spirals out of control in this thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman says “redefines ‘unputdownable.’”
The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.
Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.
When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.
But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.
Cat, Cole, and Leoben are determined to release the right version of the vaccine. There’s no way that they can just sit still and allow the virus to continue to mutate. But now, the people are even more wary of them because the first vaccine seems to have gone wrong. Cat is also struggling internally to uncover her past, and sometimes her old memories force her out of the present world and into the past. The team is worried about her emotional state, but they don’t have time to stop as Lachlan needs to be found.
I loved the first book of this series, but this one might end up being my favorite. Just….wow. So much character development happened in this book, especially with Cat finding out about her past. I won’t spoil it, but it’s good. As Cat is finding out her past, the entire team has to adjust to her changes. She even finds out things about the others that she didn’t’ know before, and has to confront them on her true past. You are seeing everything from Cat’s POV as you are reading, so you don’t know anything about her past until she finds it out for herself. You also don’t know the thoughts of the other characters. The fact that this series is only told from one POV works because each character has a piece of the puzzle, and story events help the reader piece the puzzle together.
Honestly, I need to see this book turned into a movie. Literally, as I was reading the end of the book, I could hear the soundtrack in my head. I’ve been dying for a good YA fantasy movie lately, and this could be a perfect one. The scenes are so vivid that I could visualize them, even though I struggle with visualizing. I get distracted easily when reading in a busy place, but I managed to read this over the din of the lounge at my college in between classes. One of my friends tried to say hi to me, and it took me a good minute to even hear them. This was simply so good!
The plot of these books is so smooth. I finished this book in a matter of hours, even though it wasn’t that short. I just feel myself flying through the pages, soaking information, and then it’s done. I need the next one!
I haven’t even spoken about the world yet! This world is so intricate, and the characters are always in a morally grey area. I love how there isn’t any specific good or evil, but that everyone has done both good and bad things in their lifetime. I don’t know how it will end up in book three, but I hope that this moral grey is kept. It is interesting to see what things are like when you can’t just point blame and call one character or another a “villain.” I can’t wait to learn more about Lachlan and Cartaxus.
This book discusses the history of the world as the characters have to figure out where the virus started, and what they can do to try to get the new vaccine out there. There are laws regarding the panels, and the characters learn the stories behind those laws and how they can get around them if need be. It really makes the world seem full, rather than just a blank slate before the virus.
I could go on and on about everything that I loved with this book, but I will let you read this amazing series for yourselves. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA fantasy/science fiction novel that doesn’t focus on romance and has an extremely well-written and detailed plot.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars
Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.
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