This Cruel Design – Emily Suvada – This Mortal Coil #2 – Simon Pulse – Published 30 October 2018




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 thoughts

Absolutely stunning. This Cruel Design is the epic second book in the This Mortal Coil series and it is every bit as incredible, well-written, and addictive as the first book. This Cruel Design lived up to every expectation and high standard set by its predecessor. Fast-faced and intelligent, This Cruel Design ramps up the tension and the stakes, introducing new characters and pushing the boundaries on everything once thought possible for genetics and technology.

Cat might have found a vaccine for the deadly Hydra plague, but the journey has revealed secrets that shattered her world and has left her reeling, no longer truly knowing who she is or what her purpose should be. Camping in the woods with Cole and Leoben, Cat is hoping for a chance to regroup and decide on her next move, but time is running out if she is going to prevent Lachlan from reprogramming humanity. She also needs to learn how to control her new panel and deal with the memory glitches that threaten to reveal more secrets.

This Cruel Design was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it certainly did not disappoint. It was all too easy to fall back into the This Mortal Coil world. Not only are the plot and characters so unique that they have clearly stuck in my head since reading This Mortal Coil, but the first chapter of This Cruel Design gives a quick recap, to catch readers back up on the actions and the events that have transpired in the week since the conclusion of the first book. But readers don’t have long before being flung back into the action and constant twists and turns, and let me say that Emily Suvada really steps it up. What it takes to survive in a world bent on destruction, the fight for humanity, pushes Cat, Cole, Leo and the others to extremes. New characters are introduced, old ones reappear, and relationships become more complicated. The realms of possibility are pushed even further, with better tech and more extreme methods of coding and animal mutations like luminescent pigeons. Yet thanks to the writing style and science that underpins it all, everything feels realistic and within the grasp of our own (hopefully not, though) future, which makes it all the scarier and impactful.

This Cruel Design is sure to please fans of This Mortal Coil – it certainly made this fan very happy. While it is the second book in the series, it is by no means merely a placeholder, introducing new information and major plot twists and perfectly setting the scene for an epic third book. If you haven’t read This Mortal Coil yet, then I highly recommend it. I can’t keep it on our library shelves it’s so popular and readers reluctantly return it with exclamations and profound reviews such as “oh my god, this book is amazing.” And really, that’s all you need to know, because both book one and two are purely amazing – science fiction at its very best.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Young adult fiction.

Genre: Science-fiction.

Themes: Genetics, Coding, Hacking, Genetic engineering, Relationships.

Reading age guide: Ages 13/14 and up.

Advisory: Strong violence – blood, gore, injury, death. Vague sexual references.

Published:  30 October 2018 by Simon Pulse.

Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. 432 pages.


Find it on Goodreads