Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 30th 2018
The following is a synopsis of the first novel, as to avoid spoilers
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?
“There is not one of me–I am no single voice in the darkness. I am a chorus. A Symphony of code and violence, driving a knife into each of their hearts.”
Let me find my words.
This Cruel Design is the second installment in the literary masterpiece series, Mortal Coil, by the fiction mastermind Emily Suvada. Now, I say mastermind, because the words she divulges onto the printed page are ones that leave her readers breathless, engaged, heart wrenched, and forever mind blown (not even kidding). The first novel in this series was one of the best books I have read in 2018, and easily one of the top 5, as it made me view the world in a different light.
This newest segment in the story of Catarina “Cat” Agatta is no exception. The Sophomore novel takes up where the first left off–Catarina on the hunt for Lachlan and working out the revelations and truths she has come to find out about not only herself but the world she has grown to know as a new virus strand has taken formation.
Unlike the first novel, This Cruel Design, starts off with a slow pace as we get reacquainted to the world Suvada has built. I didn’t mind the slow beginning as much as I usually would, because of how the pace matched the storyline and how it was a steady progression of speed as we headed towards the climax. Suvada builds a scientifically fascinating world in which the possibilities of manipulation and creation of both technology and DNA are endless.
“If there is a design that underpins us, Catarina, then it is cold, it is violent, and it is cruel.”
With poignant dialogue and enriched character development, the sophomore novel continues to delve into philosophical questions on humanity and our dependency on technology as well as how far we should let technology take hold of our existence. Suvada holds nothing back with her writing style as she delivers breathtaking descriptions and quick-witted dialogue that takes the entire cast and ensemble into a deeper realm of development that you would never believe they could go.
With endless plot twists and mind-blowing revelations, This Cruel Design is thought-provoking and a whirlwind of pulsing excitement that will ruin and begin you in ways you never thought possible.
I honestly will recommend this series to every single entity for as long as I live as it is truly a masterpiece that should not be ignored.