This is a fantastic short story prequel to ‘This Mortal Coil’, giving a brief look at the five Zarathustra children who are being kept by Lachlan Agatta for his painful gentech experiments.
Jun Bei, Cole, Zianna, Anna, and Leoben feel as though, for a moment, that a new life is possible when a visitor from the Cartaxus headquarters, but work in the blackout program doesn’t look good to all of them after seeing a frightful display put on for them.
Within the short novella, we are reminded of the innocence of these kids when Lachlan was doing his work, and get a peek into some of their relationships.
The imagery of the dangerous but beautiful cactus (again, that gorgeous cover art!) is mirrored in Jun Bei/Cat, and is actually pivotal within the short story.
‘This Cruel Design’ has been my most anticipated book of the year, and I’m just starting it now (plus I’m on the blog tour), so this is a great lead-in. Like all of Emily’s work so far, there’s never enough, it’s full of complex imagery within this new world she has built, and I can’t wait to see where her new book takes me.
**You can read this free on Riveted Lit until November 30th!! Click HERE!