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May 13, 2018


Aurealis Award Best YA Novel 2017 short list

by N@ncy


Quickscan plot:

  1. Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta.
  2. He is a legendary  geneticist who has been kidnapped
  3. by a shadowy  organization called Cartaxus.
  4. Cat  is left to survive the last two years on her own.
  5. She can no longer escape involvement with the Cartaxus.
  6. This is where it gets personal.
  7. Cole, a Cartaxus soldier, arrives with
  8. …news that her father has been killed.
  9. Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie.
  10. But Cole also brings a message.
  11. Before Dr. Lachlan died…
  12. he managed to create a vaccine against the killing virus.
  13. Cole needs Cat’s  genius-hacker skills to
  14. …crack Cartaxus’ encrypted code and save the human race.



  1. Classic hook:  the reader is in the middle of the action
  2. ….then chapter two begins with:
  3. “Two years earlier….”
  4. The characters are in a technological wonderland with
  5. a hellishly corporate backdrop (Cartaxus).
  6. “They want your brain, but don’t need your legs” (ch 2)
  7. Cat Agatta (hacker nickname: Bobcat)
  8. must use all her skills to decode her late father’s message.
  9. But is her father, Dr. Lalhan Agatta….really dead?
  10. There is a lot to digest in this book.
  11. The reader who loves…
  12. computers – files – servers – code – apps – databases
  13. …smash-and-grab hacking, Fibonacci search technique
  14. …ribbons of synthetic DNA
  15. …and swarms of drones…will love this book.
  16. If you are not tech-savvy…you may lose interest.
  17. The book tackles challenging issues:
  18. …a daughter trying to understand (break free of) her father
  19. ..a daughter mapping out
  20. …her boundaries in ethics (DNA) and in love.


Last thoughts:

  1. In YA books….the voice of the young includes
  2. …lots of swearing.
  3. Not in this book….just a few shit’s, batshit and shitloads.
  4. M.J. Ward in Psynode  cleverly avoided this problem of swearing
  5. …that might influence gatekeepers and not include the book
  6. …in school libraries.
  7. She used her urban-brand of swearing…fugg  and shiz!
  8. Of course YA would not be YA without
  9. …a love triangle Dax – Cat – Cole.
  10. blurring the boundary between romance/erotica.
  11. “We spent the week trying to ignore
  12. …the energy crackling between us,
  13. like two humming electrodes just waiting for a spark.”
  14. Hmmm… personally I prefer words like:
  15. “We’ll always have Paris.”  in a love scene.
  16. Not planning to read  Suvada’s #2 book in this series.
  17. …It is just “not my thing.”
  18. I am looking forward to Sally Abbott’s next SF book.
  19. Try reading Abbott’s  Closing Down
  20. ..and see if you agree with me! (score: 5 star)
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sep 12 2018

    Great post 💕💕


    • Sep 12 2018

      Thanks so much for your comment!
      It depends on my mood after reading a book
      …I can get a bit snarky!

      Liked by 1 person


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