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This Cruel Design

Review

This Cruel Design

Emily Suvada in an Australian young adult science fiction author who has studied math and astrophysics. She once worked as a data scientist and now lives in Portland, Oregon. She still loves writing algorithms, the outdoors and chemistry. Her debut novel, THIS MORTAL COIL was released in 2017. Its sequel, THIS CRUEL DESIGN, released in October 2018. A novella following the characters as children, THESE PRECIOUS SCARS, released in September 2018 and is available for free online.

"THIS CRUEL DESIGN solidified Suvada’s novels as some of my favorite YA sci-fi books....Suvada does not shy away from taking risks with her plot twists..."

In THIS CRUEL DESIGN, what Cat thought she had stopped comes back in full force. As she, Leoben and Cole camp out in the woods, they continue to brainstorm how they can stop Lachlan from reprogramming humanity. But Cat has visions and memories invading her mind at every turn, and she still has not recovered Jun Bei’s entire past. With no concrete plan, the group is forced into an alliance with Cartaxus, and they travel to Entropia in case the answers they want are there. Along the way, Cat uncovers more and more about her and Jun Bei’s past, as well as Lachlan’s plans.

I thought THIS CRUEL DESIGN could not be full of as many twists as THIS MORTAL COIL, but I was wrong. THIS MORTAL COIL was the rare kind of sci-fi novel that was addicting, fast-paced and thrilling, and the sequel had much to live up to, and luckily it did. I have not been so surprised while reading a duology in a long time. Genetics were central to this world, and that distinguishes it from many other sci-fi novels. The stakes in THIS MORTAL COIL were incredibly high, but that only continued in THIS CRUEL DESIGN. 

Cat in THIS CRUEL DESIGN has even more problems, revelations, and people from her past to deal with, and I was never bored. The world never seems to stop throwing complications in her path. Cole and Leoben continued to be some of my favorite characters, and I enjoyed learning more about their pasts as well as Cat’s. I also enjoyed getting to see Anna in this book because she was only mentioned in the first, and she definitely added needed commentary to the story. The mystery of Jun Bei is further explored in THIS CRUEL DESIGN, and the central mystery again seems to center around her.

This sequel felt a little slower than the first book, but I liked getting to see more of the characters together and their backstories. THIS CRUEL DESIGN solidified Suvada’s novels as some of my favorite YA sci-fi books. These books exceeded my original expectations because Suvada does not shy away from taking risks with her plot twists, and that is my favorite quality of her work. I highly recommend THIS MORTAL COIL and THIS CRUEL DESIGN to readers new to sci-fi but and those who maybe enjoy genetics. If you liked books like ILLUMINAE and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, you might just fall in love with THIS MORTAL COIL and THIS CRUEL DESIGN.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on October 30, 2018

This Cruel Design
by Emily Suvada