Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?
Cat has to learn to fend for herself after her father and his apprentice are taken by Cartaxus to try to find a vaccine for the virus. Two years later, she is living by herself and avoiding the blowers, or the people who have the virus and explode in the last stage. Humans have to freeze pieces of non-blower infected bodies to stay alive, but she is determined not to live in Cartaxus. That means she is in hiding. Until Cole comes to her to take her to Cartaxus to try to solve the vaccine that her father created before he died.
Wow. I loved this book so much, I binge read it, I nearly cried, I cringed at the gory parts, and was on the edge of my sea every time Cat was in danger. I haven’t been this into a YA dystopian novel since maybe Divergent or Hunger Games. It was just that good.
Cat is a regular character who is trying to survive in the dying world. Most people are already in the Cartaxus bunkers and those who aren’t live in danger every day. Some have a good reason, such as those who can’t enter the bunker due to having illegal medical code in their system, but others just want to be free. Cat doesn’t want to disobey her father, even though he has been gone and hasn’t contacted her for 2 years. She also misses Dax, but he hasn’t contacted her either. She just has to make her own friends and fend for herself, even if it means eating the bodies and dodging bullets daily. She makes it work.
Then, Cole comes along. They know her father has the vaccine, but she doesn’t want to work for a Cartaxus soldier. But if she does nothing, the human race could die out when the virus evolves again. Even the people in the bunkers won’t be safe.
Cat learns a lot about herself and about the world she lives in. Even though she was living in freedom, there was a lot that she didn’t see and a lot that she doesn’t even know about her own family. She will have to dig deep into her past just to figure out what her father did, and if she fails, he will have died for nothing.
The plot of this book moved so smoothly, it was almost like watching an amazing movie. There wasn’t a dull moment with these characters. I could almost hear the soundtrack at certain parts! I loved Cat’s character development, and there were definitely a lot of things that shocked me as I read this novel.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA dystopian/science fiction novel.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars