Book Beat quick takes on This Cruel Design! The Shadow of the Fox!

A little over a week since New York Comic Con and I am still recovering! There’s more to come on all that crazy, but I have a few books that I need to talk about! There’s a couple of weeks left until This Cruel Design drops so it’s time to prepare!

This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

Pitch: The next installment to the fantastic science fiction thriller, This Mortal Coil

Story: “Cat thought the Hydra epidemic was over, but when new cases pop up, Cat must team up with an enemy to fix the vaccine before the virus spirals out of control in this thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman says “redefines ‘unputdownable.’”

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.”

Quick take: I love this series for the crazy science, the brisk pace and jaw-dropping twist and turns. Continuing where This Mortal Coil leaves off, we go deeper into the world of Cartaxus, hackers and what Lachlan did to Catarina. We also meet a bunch of new characters who aren’t necessarily what they seem. It’s still bloody with a body count because, you know, exploding-people plague and the possible extinction of humans. It’s smart page-turner you don’t want to miss!

Available: October 30


These Precious Scars by Emily Suvada

Pitch: A flashback glimpse of 5 special children from the series This Mortal Coil

Story: “What would you pay for the chance to escape?

Jun Bei, Cole, Anna, Leoben, Ziana. Five children with extraordinary potential.

They don’t get many visitors at the remote laboratory where they live under the eye of legendary geneticist, Lachlan Agatta. The man and woman who arrive are nothing like the others.

They’re from Cartaxus and offer the children something rare and unfathomable: escape.

But freedom means different things to the five children. For one of them, getting want they want may mean betraying everyone else.”

Quick take: Chronologically, this short story takes place before This Mortal Coil, but I think it makes more sense to read after you read the first (or second) book so you’ll have the chilling context for who these children are and where they are located. Fascinating, scary and sad.

Available: Free to read until November 30th at Riveted Lit


The Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Pitch: The start of a new fantasy series inspired by Feudal Japan

Story: “One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.”

Quick take: The plot feels familiar, but the setting makes it unique. Lots of textures in this world. It’s a good start to an interesting series, but the next book will need a little more emotional muscle to really bring this series to the next level.

Available: Now


Star Wars: Search Your Feelings by Calliope Glass & Caitlin Kennedy, illustrated by Katie Cook

Pitch: A Star Wars picture book that uses a familiar character and scene as an example of different emotions

Story: “Search Your Feelings continues Katie Cook’s adorable run of Star Wars primers for young Padawans. Featuring poems and art about different emotions that tie to iconic moments from across the Star Wars saga, this is the perfect book to add to a youngling’s growing library.”

Quick take: Adorable, but what else do you expect from Katie Cook? It’s cute with a nice showcase on range of emotions and characters from across all the movies.

Available: Now


Thanks to Simon & Schuster (This Cruel Design, These Precious Scars), Harlequin Teen (Shadow of the Fox) and Disney Publishing (Star Wars: Search Your Feelings) for providing the books for review. Want more details on my impression of these and other books? Check out my ratings and full reviews at Goodreads.

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