BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: This Cruel Design – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the This Cruel Design book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of This Mortal Coil. You can find my review of the first book here!


ABOUT THE BOOK

40042561Title: This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil #2)
Author: Emily Suvada
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Science-Fiction, Dystopian

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.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository


REVIEW

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I started this immediately after finishing This Mortal Coil, and finished it within a day, so that should tell you all you need to know about my feelings about this book. This Cruel Design was just as fast-paced, well-written, and absolutely addicting as the first book.

The book picks up right where This Mortal Coil leaves off, and the action begins almost instantaneously. Readers have no cause to worry as there’s no second book syndrome here! I could hardly put it down and there are plenty more plot twists and reveals that kept me hooked. As with the previous book, the science and technology elements continue to be really intriguing and unique. I had no problem following along with all of the terminology and jargon.

I was under the impression that this was a duology, so the last couple of chapters really had me nervous! The ending is a total cliff-hanger and I have so many questions! I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the wait for the final book. This Cruel Design was a fun, action-packed, thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil

★ ★ ★ ★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

82GXiAfgEmily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

Follow Emily:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Two (2) winners will receive a finished copy of This Cruel Design. US only.

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:
October 22 | That Artsy Reader Girl 

October 23 | The Reading Corner for All
October 23 | Fan-Girl-Tastic
October 23 | Oh Hey! Books
October 23 | Boston Book Reader
October 23 | It Starts At Midnight

October 24 | Book Dragon Lair 
October 24 | Angela Walker’s Reviews 
October 24 | JusticeReads 
October 24 | 808bookdr 

October 25 | Vicky Who Reads 
October 25 | Paws and Paperbacks 
October 25 | Reader Rising 
October 25 | the Bibliophagist 

October 26 | RhythmicBooktrovert 
October 26 | Nay’s Pink Bookshelf 
October 26 | Belle’s Archive 
October 26 | Bri’s Book Nook 

October 27 | Portrait of a Book
October 27 | MetalPhantasmReads
October 27 | Morgan Vega
October 27 | Confessions of a YA Reader

Week Two
October 28 | Bookish Friends and Felines
October 28 | Magical Reads
October 28 | Library of a Book Witch
October 28 | The Critic Uncritical Bookworm
October 28 | Luchia Houghton

October 29 | Kat’s Books
October 29 | Book Lady’s Reviews
October 29 | Vicarious Bookworm
October 29 | Haunted by Books 

REVIEW: This Mortal Coil – Emily Suvada

33876440Title: This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)
Author: Emily Suvada
Rating: ★★★★½

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending me a finished copy of this book!

I’m so mad at myself for sleeping on this book for a year, especially with all the rave reviews I had seen for it. This Mortal Coil had everything I love in a Dystopian novel, and reminded me why that genre used to dominate my bookshelves. 

From the first chapter, I was instantly pulled into this story. The action starts right off the back, and continues throughout the entirety of the book. This Mortal Coil was fast-paced and full of twists and reveals that kept me riveted. The entire concept is extremely intriguing. I’m the first person to admit that anything involving coding and hacking goes way over my head, but even with all the science terminology and technical jargon, I never found myself overly confused and could (for the most part) follow along with what the characters were talking about. And there’s a really neat The Walking Dead undertone here that mixes so well with all the Sci-Fi elements, which creates a dystopian story unlike any other I’ve read – and one that I absolutely loved. 

Were there a lot of tropes in here? Yes. Did I mind? Not one bit. The author did such a fantastic job crafting this book, that even the few predictable plot points and romance tropes seemed to fit perfectly within the story. I’m really thankful that I received this in anticipation of reviewing This Cruel Design, because I don’t know what I would have done if I had had to wait a year between books. This Mortal Coil is a spectacular debut perfect for fans of science-fiction, dystopian settings, and compelling characters. 

REVIEW: Your One & Only – Adrianne Finlay (ARC)

33413958Title: Your One & Only
Author: Adrianne Finlay
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

If you’re looking for a unique YA Dystopian story with excellent execution, skillful writing, and great characters, look no further than Your One & Only. What seems like would be a typical YA Sci-Fi novel, rife with tropes and romance-heavy, Your One & Only actually focuses on plot and character growth, with the romance riding shotgun, much to my pleasant surprise. 

The concept is so intriguing and refreshing that it was not hard to get into the book. The plot was fast-paced and had a lot going on that it was difficult for me to stop turning the pages. Adrianne Finlay did a great job with the world-building and the scientific aspects of the story. The characters she created were well-written, compelling, and believable. I especially loved Jack and reading from his POV. His loneliness and struggles were portrayed in a heartbreakingly real way, and I easily sympathized with his character. I felt particularly horrible for him after the “prank” with the Nylas. I really enjoyed watching the way the relationship between Jack and Althea-310 unfolded and developed over time. 

There was just one tiny issued that bothered me, and it’s more just me being nitpicky, but I was a little disappointed that there was no romantic love scene between Jack and Althea. Considering how much time was spent in the book talking about and mentioning Pairing, I was really surprised a scene wasn’t included to contrast both Jack’s and Althea’s previous experiences (Althea having only participated in Pairings, Jack’s misconception and deception with the Nylas) with feelings of love and desire of being with each other. It seems like a missed opportunity to showcase an important parallel for the characters.

As a standalone, the book wraps up nicely with a slight open ending that allows the reader to feel content, but also creates the question of whether more may follow. (Adrianne Finlay, if you are reading this review, I wouldn’t mind a sequel. I’m just saying…) I was approved for this title months ago, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t read it sooner. Your One & Only is a fascinating concept with skillful writing, compelling characters, and a great story. I highly recommend this book and I think other readers will become as enraptured by the story and characters as I was. 

(P.S. I miss the old cover 🙁)

REVIEW: Gilded Cage – Vic James (ARC)

30258320Title: Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1)
Author: Vic James
Rating: ★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

A lot of people have raved over Gilded Cage, but I , for one, couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about. First of all, this book was much different than what I had expected. I’ll dive into more on that later but I think that was a big part of my dislike, along with high expectations due to all the raving five star review (when will I learn?). 

Gilded Cage is a dystopian novel, but what sets it apart from all the other YA dystopian novels is the plot. Not only is it intricate and complex, but it’s different-a good different. The world building was strong. It took me a while to get used to this type of dystopian world, similar to how I was when I read Red Queen, but once I got into it I was impressed by the world the author had built.

One issue I had was the pacing of the book. At one point, less than three-quarters of the way, I realized that six months had already passed since the start. Six months, and yet I knew absolutely nothing about most of the characters, including Abi, who I had assumed was one of the main protagonists. I was 75% done with the book and had only read two chapters from her POV and had no clue what her storyline was or anything about her character. The combination of the pacing and the multiple POVs led me to feel unconnected to any of the characters and like I was reading about strangers the entire time. The one character I did really appreciate was Gavar. He seemed the most complex, and his struggles were interesting and complicated. I wanted to read more and more from his perspective. He is clearly going to end up as some sort of antihero and I could not be more on board. There’s definitely more to him than we know and I’m dying to know more about what happened between him and Leah. If I continue with the series, it will be for Gavar alone.

The romance was basically nonexistent. It’s not usually a deal breaker for me unless the story is lacking, which I thought it was. I thought I would be all about the Abi/Jenner pairing, but I honestly wasn’t all the involved in their story. Probably because it was very rushed and there was way too much telling instead of showing. All of a sudden there were these intense feelings between them, but since we only had Abi’s POV two or three times throughout the whole book, we never get to see any conversations  or interactions between them, and never get the chance to see these feelings develop. 

And now the thing that bothered me the most: I felt so misled going into this. This was a very different story than what the synopsis suggested. Don’t get me wrong: the plot is strong and unique, but it was not at all what I was expecting to read. I dissected the synopsis apart below. There may or may not be slight spoilers ahead, depending on your definition of a spoiler. Proceed with caution. 

  • Our world belongs to the Equals—aristocrats with magical gifts—and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
    Ooh, intriguing. This a good start and is pretty accurate description of the book. I can’t wait to learn more about whatever secret lies at Kyneston.
  • A boy dreams of revolution…Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
    Okay, still pretty accurate. I think this is the closest the synopsis gets to the actual plot.
  • A girl thirsts for love and knowledge…Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?
    I have no idea what this “terrible choice” is. This has by far been the most baffling to me. There was no family secret revealed. There was no conflict for Abi because she doesn’t learn anything about this family that could potentially win her freedom or anything of the sort. I kept thinking to myself, did I miss something?? And I’ve already talked about the “love” issue earlier. 
  • And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts…He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?
    Again, I’m confused. I was expecting some terrible power he possessed that would be revealed at the end and be connected with the family secret Abi learns that could be at the heart of her “terrible choice” she’ll have to make. Alas, I was mistaken. If his mysterious power is what I think it is, it was literally talked about since one of the first chapters, and didn’t seem like such a secret since he told everyone what he was going to do. It read more like it was an interesting talent rather than some huge, dark gift. 

All in all, unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed by the book. I gave it an extra star because the basics of the plot were pretty interesting and different from the usual young adult dystopian books, and also because Gavar.