In Suvada’s high-tech debut, a virus has ravaged the world and one teen holds the key to the cure.
In a world where everyone is embedded with technology at birth that allows them to manipulate their DNA, Catarina Agatta’s dad, Lachlan, is the best gentech coder in the world. Naturally, she has inherited his skills to become a master hacker. At the outbreak of a horrifying virus that causes its victims to combust and those nearby to cannibalize them before they do, Cartaxus, a corrupt organization, forcibly whisks Lachlan away to develop a cure. For two years, Catarina survives on her own, carefully avoiding Cartaxus’ grasp. One day, a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, shows up on her doorstep with the news that her father has died but that he managed to develop a vaccine. The only catch? Cole and Catarina must work together to find, decrypt, and release it to the masses. On their dangerous adventure to save the world, Cat is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her father, Cartaxus, the virus, and even herself. Featuring a strong, tech-savvy protagonist who will stop at nothing to get the job done, the novel explores exciting yet terrifying possibilities. (Race identity in this DNA–fluid future goes mostly undefined, but her surname implies Greek heritage.) While the twists and turns keep readers on their toes, one particular curveball comes so far out of left field it threatens to derail the story.
An original concept but with an ending that requires a suspension of disbelief. (Science fiction. 14-18)