Hello there and welcome to Rhea’s Neon Journal 🙂 Your search for a great Sci-Fi ends right here, people! Kate Tailor’s The Designed is about a drug that kills. A drug that cause crazy addictions. And most importantly, a drug that saves lives. But what happens if you’re made up of the drug? Follow the rest of the blog tour right here and enter the international giveaway down below 🙂
What if the next new drug was you? Raleigh’s body produces a drug that could define the future of medicine if the dangerous world surrounding it doesn’t kill her first.
Eighteen-year old Raleigh Groves can sense disease in others and is suffering from her own unexplained illness as well. After years and dozens of doctor visits, she has given up hope of ever finding a cure, let alone a diagnosis. Then she meets a man who explains that her talent and curse are linked. Her body produces a drug, Lucidin, which allows her to sense others. She’s rare, and the drug she makes is coveted.
Rho has spent the last few years on the run. The Lucidin that is racing through his system makes him a target. Surrounded by addicts and dealers on one side and scientists and doctors on the other, he has to rely on his wits and his team to stay one step ahead. So far he has stayed afloat, but some of his brothers haven’t been as lucky.
As Rho and Raleigh collide they must face the perilous world of Lucidin together. Nothing is black-and-white and Raleigh must decide where her alliances lie. Sometimes the hardest heart to sense is your own.
Ah the glory of drug producing new adults.
The Designed begins in a very precarious situation, with Rho trying to escape…something. It’s not too clear to the reader what exactly he’s trying to run away from, only that he is and he’s desperate to get away. Of course a few details are given about how some kind of a drug is being extracted from his body, thus rendering him uselessly weak and continuously exhausted…not the most ideal of conditions for an escapee.
The writing in this particular part of the book, the first chapter, was more than enough to make sure that I’d read the book in a single sitting. You don’t know what’s happening to Rho. You don’t know where he’s being kept captive and why. You don’t know if he’s the good guy and if the “captivity” is actually him serving his sentence. You just find yourself rooting for him to get out as safely and quickly as possible.
And then the story shifts to Raleigh, the protagonist of the novel. Raleigh is an eighteen year old girl who can—wait for it—sense other people’s diseases and emotions. It’s bizarre and unique and when she actually describes the feeling of every little pain that it isn’t hers, her talent comes off as creepy and unsettling. Nonetheless, the author did a spectacular job of showing just how level-headed Raleigh was, inspite of having given up hope for any treatment of her “problem.” But when a treatment does arrive, Rho and Raleigh’s paths cross, and there begins the story of Lucidin and over-enthusiastic scientists and doctors with hidden agendas.
Rho was a bit of a mystery. He wasn’t in the book too much (the book was focused more of Raleigh) but I liked what I read about him. I’m really not shipping Rho and Raleigh (Colin & Raleigh forever, yo!) but I can see how they’d make the ideal pair. Rho was motivated and he obviously had the charm that the love interest of the MC is supposed to have, but I still expected more from him. He came across as formulaic and while he was cute being all protective of Raleigh, it got old pretty soon. I’m looking forward to reading more of Rho (and Kappa and Sigma, his brothers, for that matter) in the next installment.
And then, obviously, there was Raleigh. Raleigh was, like I said, strong and level-headed despite having a lot of challenges thrown at her all t once. She went from being a sick girl to being one of the most feared people in the book—and that was a change that she more or less adapted well to. She didn’t take shit from the other boys in the book—this book has a LOT of boys—and she didn’t bother with all the shit she got merely for being a girl. The Raleigh I saw at the beginning of the novel was completely gone by the end, and in her place was a smarter, stronger, tougher Raleigh, ready to take on the bad guys.
The Designed might be one of the best indie books I’ve ever read this year! Its well-researched and informative prose is not only interesting, but also explains so many things in the book that wouldn’t otherwise strike the reader as important. The writing is very, very good and I felt myself losing track of time and food and you know, essential living stuff. ALSO, WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DEAL WITH THAT BLOODY CLIFFHANGER!
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