In this gripping debut novel, gene-hacking genius Cat is the only one who can decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.
Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash though 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?
Sci-Fi, Romance, Dystopian, YA, Thriller – this one novel covers a wide spectrum of interests to please the masses. Throw in some villains, heroes, plagues, and conspiracies on top of the multi-genre and you are not going to be bored with this unpredictable story with its plot twists and depth.
You can tell from the writing style and detail that Suvada put time and effort into research as the believability factor was high considering the type of storylines presented. Even within the concept of a deadly virus overtaking the world, how she had her characters act felt realistic to the situations they faced. I’m fairly certain what happened to the infected is a new twist because the Walking Dead phenomena definitely was not copied here. The scientific principles used such as genetic coding and manipulation made sense because that already happens in real life.
With her strong background in science and math it’s easy to see how the author was able to create a fantasy with this much realism. She must have employed a great deal of her own experience and knowledge into the characters. The main character, Cat has scary talents with tech so I’m wondering how much of herself the author poured into forming this character. She’s incredibly strong and a wonderful female character which I enjoyed since too often strong characters in SciFi novels are given to men while women get the supporting roles but that was flipped in this book.
Even if you have an unfamiliarity with the tech, science and language Suvada employs in her novel there is enough context to get you through or you can look at this as a learning experience to expand your interests through some google searches to fill in the holes of what you don’t know.
This novel is going to explode through the YA genre and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a movie option not too far off in the future.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon Pulse for allowing me to review this!
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*synopsis and image from Netgalley