When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world’s leading geneticist, and humanity’s best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole’s genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.
Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. But it’s too late to turn back.
There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.
Um. This book blew me away so hard I am actually not even sure where to start. So first? Go read this. Right now!!
This book is amazing. I did NOT see any of the ending coming at all. The whole concept is amazing. I am just flailing so hard right now and so blown away I am struggling to think about what I loved about it. While, like always, I’ve tried to write a spoiler free review, I was struggling, so there is one mild spoiler (for something a chapter or two in!) and several allusions to book events that could be spoilery. Be aware!
I really adored all the sci fi things and dystopian things. The world building (which does take a bit of time at the start sadly) is totally worth it in the end. And the concept of people blowing up was gross but cool. (Mild spoiler ahead!) I even like the “eating the infected” element even if it is super gross. It’s different and the need for survival comes across well with it.
The characters are probably not my favourites ever – Catarina can be a little 2-D, even with all the conflicting thoughts she ends up with. And the romance stuff is never my fave anyway. So Cole and Dax also came across as a little 2-D. And I definitely didn’t like the “star crossed lovers” BS lol. But for all that, they are all very readable. Catarina’s shock at learning what she does, and determination to help are her core and that comes across well. Cole is a little the soulless soldier, but actually I think he has more heart than Dax, who I’m still not convinced of his motivations!
The villainy (and yes I’m leaving it like that for spoilers) worked for me a lot. I like a moving target, I like a character made vulnerable by what they learn.
The science felt amazing, and I genuinely feel this is one of the main reasons I loved it. At my heart I’m a data nerd and this sort of thing gets me. I want to study this code, I want to play with it! Haha. Not sure I’d want to make mods on myself though, that’s such an odd concept! And again I think that’s another reason I loved it. That it’s become mainstream to do so, and all the cool, weird and wonderful things you could do. So yes, I could maybe be thinner, have perfect eyesight and never have to shave my legs, clean my teeth or wear deodorant ever again. But I could also decide to grow a tail! And I don’t want a tail 😉
I genuinely think this is going to be a love it or hate it book. Despite some of its flaws, I honestly was so caught up in story that I couldn’t help but love it. But if the sci fi doesn’t grip you for whatever reason then I don’t think the character are enough to hold you in. I super loved it. Every step of the way.