Emily Suvada | This Cruel Design (Simon Pulse)

400 Pages | $10.99 Kindle Edition

After being shooketh (or “cranium screwed,” as Isabelle from Bookwyrm Bites puts it) a million times in This Mortal Coil, I prepared for the same experience in This Cruel Design, the second book in Emily Suvada’s trilogy. But as much as I wish I could say I enjoyed This Cruel Design as much as the first one, the sequel is a bit of a letdown. This Mortal Coil hit the ground running from the first sentence and doesn’t stop until the last word, filled as it is with twists and turns that will have readers wondering what happened and thinking after finishing the book.

This Cruel Design is a lot slower, with little spurts of action as Cat and her friends recover from the events in the first book, thinking the outbreak is over. Cat is still shocked by the revelations revealed and is trying to come to terms with her past as she continues on with the present, not helped by her new gear giving her occasional flashbacks and giving her an identity crisis. We’re introduced to a variety of new characters—some who are from Cat’s missing past and some who are brand new—in addition to the main cast of characters from the first book. We’re also introduced to new places in Suvada’s world, where the tech is used differently. I found myself struggling with the first third of the book, but as soon as Suvada sets up the story and new environment, the book goes quickly from slow-paced to fast-paced and doesn’t stop until the end.

While the story is slow at the start, This Cruel Design is still filled with as many surprises and revelations as the first one, leaving me with many questions that will hopefully be answered in the final book, This Vicious Cure, which was just announced last month. | Hannah Sophia Lin

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