Title // This Cruel Design
Author // Emily Suvada
Publisher // Simon Pulse
Publication Date // October 30, 2018
Synopsis // 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.
My Rating // ★★★★☆ (4.5)
I am absolutely shook. If I thought that after the craziness that was This Mortal Coil, my mind couldn’t be even more blown, then of course I was wrong; I should have known better because this book was just absolutely crazy!!
This book leaves the protagonists in peace for, oh, maybe two seconds (or like two chapters) before crazy new elements are introduced to the world and the virus that completely mess up the main characters’ plans and force them to figure it out all over again. From there on, the plot is so fast paced, and there are always new things happening on each and every page! Of course, there’s also the threat that the virus is going to kill everyone and the world is going to basically end, leaving the main characters to race against time in a way that left me constantly on my toes turning pages as quickly as humanly possible.
The science and elaborate world building was definitely a highlight of the first book for me, and this book was no different. Although, I’ll admit, a lot of it went over my head, more so than, the first book, particularly with the coding stuff! Still, I loved the pages and pages of science descriptions, and just trying to figure out what exactly was going on. There are a lot of cool interesting things introduced, such as a scythe, which can be used to literally kill someone with…hacking? I love how everything was clearly backed with science and research instead of authors just throwing stuff out there and using plot convenience to explain it away.
Book One ends with the shocking revelation concerning Cat and Jun Bei, and this book really delved more into the latter, which I loved! She’s clearly such a complex character, an absolute genius shrouded in mystery, and discovering more and more of her, and learning that things weren’t exactly as they seemed, was incredible and really drew me in! (view spoiler)
I loved the character interactions, and the depth to the characters as well. There are a couple of new characters, Anna and Mato, who are really complicated, and as more was revealed about them, my mind became increasingly blown. Their interactions also caused me to question other characters, particularly the relationship between Cole and Cat, and really added a layer of depth.
This book does not stray from dark, horrifying, grittiness. I mean, from eating and exploding human flesh in the first book, we also get to hear about murdering dozens of people in one go, amputating and growing body parts, erasing minds… I was really down for it and I guess that probably shows part of how I’m potentially a bit weird in the brain.
Like the first book, the ending was absolutely insane! For the last hundred pages or so, I felt like there was so new crazy thing happening on each page, and I seriously had no idea what was going to happen next! I definitely absolutely can’t wait to read the next book!!!