This Mortal Coil
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Penguin Books Ltd
November 1st 2018
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
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.
I didn’t think things would get better but boy … they did
Ho-ly crap. I didn’t think I would fall deeper in love with the world of This Mortal Coil but boy, I was wrong. What an absolutely outstanding second book in this trilogy. This Cruel Design took everything I loved from This Mortal Coil, put it in a tumbler, shook it hard, added some extra ingredients and poured it out. Boom – you have a finished book that will leave you speechless. Holy hell I cannot start to tell you how much I adored This Cruel Design.
Everything that I loved from This Mortal Coil felt like it was elevated 11 times. The world was super dark and scary and I did not know whether people were going to live or die. The twists and turns that kept happening, again and again, had me SCREAMING to know what the hell was going on. Usually, I worry about a second book in a trilogy not being as good as the first, but Suvada proves that she knows what she is doing. Her writing continued to be super in-depth with the science-fiction terminology aspects and gosh…. what a book. I enjoyed the fact that she further developed the science termonologies within This Cruel Design and wrapped up some unanswered questions within the first book. Although at some points it felt confusing, it was a good sort of confusion. It left you feeling the need to find out more! Gosh.. what a book.
“If there is a design that underpins us, Catarina, then it is cold, it is violent, and it is cruel.”
This Cruel Design follows a few months after This Mortal Coil. Catarina, after learning the truth about who and what she really is, is completely shaken. Learning to control her new panel and learning to overcome her emotions is proving too much. Cat is getting flashbacks of her previous life and she’s wanting to know why. With Cole and Leoban by her side, they try to figure out a way to stop Lachlan and his idea of reprogramming the human brain. It’s inhumane.
But when they find out that the Hydra plague hasn’t really been destroyed, they need to make an uneasy alliance with Cataxus, the people who she swore she would never alliance herself with. But they need to track down Lachlan. Their journey leads them to a gene-hacking city called Entropia. It is here that they may find the answers they seek. But, it is also the place where Cat may find out about her past life and who she really was.
Characters old and new
I also LOVED how characters new and old progressed. This Cruel Design introduces some new faces into the story and I love how they all progress together. The way that relationships changed and shifted was gripping and new loyalties were formed throughout the story.
Cat had such a big role to play within This Cruel Design. Finding out truths that she struggles with all while trying to find a way to properly stop the Hydra plague. She also needs to track down her so-called father, Lachlan. I love the way her character progresses throughout this book and how her friendships and relationships change. It really kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the friendship that she Leoban share. He was such a sweet character and I felt really strongly for him throughout This Cruel Design. The biggest thing for me with this story is getting to see more into the mind of Cat and how she feels about everything. That aspect allowed me to connect more with her and feel emotionally attached. How she would have flashbacks of her previous life and how terrifying that must have felt. Not knowing who she really is, it’s a nightmare to imagine.
Cole was also such an essential part of the story. The relationship between him and Cat is incredibly tense throughout This Cruel Design and I am so curious to see what their relationship is like in the next book. There were moments throughout this story though that I felt Cole was going a little bit too far and holy shit these moments were SO intense.
Morally grey = best grey
What I found the most enjoyable aspect of the book though was the new character Mato. I love grey characters, and Mato sure fit the bill. I had no idea if I should trust him at all. He is a great addition to This Cruel Design. I also really enjoyed learning more about Jun Bei and how focused she is and her complicated nature. I really look forward to finding out more about her too!
Overall, this book did not disappoint. The world continues to grow and shows different elements of gene-hacking that was not seen in This Mortal Coil. The characters continue to excite and shock and the plot thickens with every chapter. A great second book and I cannot WAIT to see what happens in the third book. A must read if you are a fan of This Mortal Coil!