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?
After being told to read This Mortal Coil so many times, by so many different people (but Rae @ Novels & Notions most of all), I finally picked up this book. I’m honestly beyond so glad that I did. This is going to make a few of my best-of lists that you’ll probably have seen already by the time I post this review.
At first, I was a little worried that I would get lost with all of the science talk. We follow Catarina, as she survives in the apocalypse. But there’s all kinds of gene-hacks and DNA whatnot involved in the story. And while I wouldn’t say that I 100% understand it all, it was explained really well in relation to the story and wasn’t so complicated that it didn’t make sense. As long as you understand the basic idea of human DNA I think the science part of the story will be easily understandable.
Catarina was a fierce main character that I really enjoyed. She is put through the wringer in this book. Her dad goes missing, she learns some truths about him as well as herself that shake the foundation of her world. But despite these huge revalatikns she still makes a point to do the right thing, or what she feels is the right thing in the moment. I really adored this about her. She’s led to believe one thing, but trust her gut and her instincts instead of blindly following what she was trained to believe.
Cole is a character I immediately liked. While there is a bit of romance here, it’s not something that took the forefront of the story and it didn’t overshadow any of the other plot lines. They all ran together smoothly. I’d like a bit more depth to his character which I think was lacking in all the characters aside from Catarina (and her father, but that’s a different story) because we only see things from her perspective and how the world is happening around and within her. Despite that, you could clearly see Cole and her were drawn to one another, and I loved them. Their moments together were sweet and full of emotion.
Dax was one I went back and forth between loving and hating every few pages. I really wanted to love him but the man did he make me work for it.
I think this story was so well done. Overall, this is a new favorite series and I’m typing this review on my phone at midnight so that I can have it done and be able to pick up book two guilt-free tomorrow since I work and won’t be able to sit and write the review on my computer before then. I think the writing was phenomenal, with perfect moments of showing at the right moments and telling in others. I am definitely excited about This Cruel Design. I also will now become one of the many that scream this book’s praises from the rooftops. So, please stop what you’re doing and go read this series.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda