Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: Deadly Design by Debra Dokter

25420404Title: Deadly Design 
Author: Debra Dokter
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam Son's for
Young Readers
Publishing Date: June 2nd 2015
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Sci Fi Thriller
Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC 

Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything—valedictorian, star quarterback etc. Kyle never thought he’d be able to live up, so he didn’t even try.

But when Connor, 18, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, and Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also died on their eighteenth birthdays, he’s suddenly motivated—to save his own life. Like Connor and all the rest, Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted experiments on them. The clock’s ticking as Kyle searches for answers: who was Dr. Mueller really, and what did he do to cause their hearts to stop at eighteen? He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse.

This was a very anticipated read for me this year. I was drawn to this book from the moment I spotted it. I love sci fi thrillers. I love thrillers and this book was good. Real Good. I was hooked from the very first page. The entire plot was intriguing and exciting. I enjoyed the characters, the good and the bad. It was easy to connect early on. The story had a little romance, which is good for me. It was a wild ride and it was through provoking. Just all good stuff. 

Kyle is a twin but his twin is two years old than him. For a long time now Kyle has been resentful of Connor. He was born first, he is better, smarter, has the girl that Kyle dreams about. His life seems simple and Kyle's does not. After one good night with his Kyle, Connor dies in the night. heart attack. eighteen years old, Bad health was a no but it happened. Not only did it happen to Connor but it happened to 2two others that were created in the same lab as Kyle and Conner. Kyle now has a mission to figure out why these kids are dying and how to stop it from continuing,... because in two years, Kyle will be eighteen. Oh and through all the adventure, thrills, and mystery, there is a girl. So romance buds. Can't have a story without that. 

Great read. Loved it all. It was a pager turner from the beginning and I enjoyed from cover to cover. It felt very much like an original read to me and I was pulled in easily. Not only was it an easy read it but it had characters that amazing and I connected to them easily. The book was easy but it was thrilling and a bit of nail biting was happening a couple time throughout the book. One of those reads that you tell yourself it has to be okay, it will end well... but there are those books that don't. So which am I reading. So a bit of a nail biter. I didn't mind. I love those reads. 

So the plot was just amazing. It actually had a ton of depth to it. It really made me think about things I have kind of thought about before but not on the level this book brought. Science is amazing and every year we can do so much more in the amazing dept but sometimes it's too much and it's easy to get carried away. This book explores that pretty darn well. The idea of genetic modification is scary. I am not sure how far we are from this. I am no scientist, in fact my worst subject in school, but this book made it seem pretty real. So it made me think just bit,. not too much because its fiction but the thoughts did come. 

Not only was the book a thought provoking read but it was exciting too. It felt much like a race from beginning to end. Kyle had little time to figure things out and I really liked Kyle so I was rooting for him. The book went from "oh this is neat " to "evil people are just evil " quickly and it was it was  a great exploration of science and humanity along the way. (they're not all evil don't worry) 

Like I said, I liked Kyle. He started off a bit of a butt. He had a real chip on his shoulder and it was created from his own imaginings. Connor was a great brother, his parents were great, Kyle just had an inferiority complex. I guess that happens in twins and probably more so when they are two years apart. But... he grows. I love a book where there is growth. This one had lots of it. He turns out to be a pretty stand up guy. Caring and loyal, Smart and brave. Yup I liked him. 

There is also Cami. Let me explain Cami.. She was the best friend of Emma who was Connor's girlfriend which was truly the girl Kyle wanted. Or so he thought. Cami  was an awesome character. Probably one of my favorite girls in many recent reads. She had her stuff together and she pretty much put Kyle in his place then fell in love with him. Always stood by him, never backed down, never left his side. Cared deeply acted responsibly., yea she rocked. 

The book was full of amazing secondary characters. The parents were good. Involved and loving. Cami's family was great too. Good family values in this book. Lots of crazy characters. Each stood on their own but worked well to other to make a whole. 

The pacing was phenomenal which is what I look for in thrillers No slow parts at all. As mentioned earlier a page turner from beginning to end. Well thought out and well played. 

Only small minor issue. The ending seemed to be a bit too crazy. I think it could have ended or was ending three different times and it kept going. The ending... when it came, was good. It was satisfying and it made me feel good about my adventure.. but it was a bit long winded. Not too badly and it still didn't drag. It happened quickly so really no major complaint. Just thought Would mention it. It reminded me of a horror movie when you think the bad guy is dead but he keeps coming back. It didn't take away from any good of the story, kind of comical really. 

So read the book. Its good. If you like through provoking, good character development, original stories, and sci fi thrillers. Its the book for you. 

Debra Dockter

Debra Dockter currently teaches behavioral science at Cowley College and resides in Haysville, Kansas with her husband and three children. Deadly Design is her debut novel. Links for Debra: Website | Facebook | Twitter |Goodreads |


  1. Okay. So now I pretty much need this book. It sounds super intriguing, Jenn! Lovely review :D
    Jackie @ No Bent Spines

  2. Yay, love ones that hook you from the first page (rarely happens with me, so glad it did). I do love good characters (even when they're bad characters) and glad they're easy to connect to. Love thought-provoking ones too-especially when they surprise you in that way-and hallelujah for the parents being normal parents and actually involved and no Parents-In-YA-Syndrome. :D


Imagination Designs