This Mortal Coil – Emily Suvada – This Mortal Coil #1 – Simon Pulse – Published 7 November 2017
Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?
This book deserves a victory dance for awesomeness. But I’m actually too shocked to move right now. This Mortal Coil is mind-blowingly awesome. Prepare yourselves, I’m afraid this is going to be one of those gushing, I-just-loved-it-so-much reviews. But this book totally deserves it.
This Mortal Coil expertly combines breathtaking world building with endless action, insane plot twists that just keep coming, and some seriously amazing characters. Add romance in the midst of apocalyptic chaos with intense chemistry, a zombie virus that is wildly spreading, and some very impressive technological advancements that all seamlessly fit with scientific explanations, and you have one amazing book that is impossible to put down.
Catarina has survived the last two years on her own, doing anything she has to, to outlive the deadly Hydra virus that has killed millions and driven most of the population into hiding underground. Ever since her father, the world’s most famous geneticist, was taken by Cartaxus soldiers, Catarina has lived alone, and with limited tech and resources, she has had to rely on her impressive hacking skills to survive. Until a Cartaxus solider turns up on the doorstep of her hideaway cabin. Cole insists he is there to help, but her father warned her never to trust Cartaxus. But Cole demands that her father has finally created an antivirus for the plague and that she is key to unlocking it.
This Motal Coil is set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, where science has evolved so much that humans can recode their DNA using panels in their arms connected to branches of tech within their bodies. But viruses have also evolved, making the world a very deadly place in which to live. The Hydra virus is one seriously scary virus. It makes zombie-like monsters not only out of those infected, but also in those who respond to someone who is in the second stage of the virus – mad, consuming bloodlust that can result in short-term immunity. And that pretty picture on the front of the book? Well, I guess that represents the cloud of flesh exploding when someone dies from the virus. Like I said, scary stuff.
This book doesn’t pull its punches. I thought I might faint from a few descriptions of the procedures or injuries or, let’s just call them, events, in this book. Everything is incredibly realistic and scientifically (to my very limited knowledge) makes sense. There is a lot of discussion woven into the story about genetics, DNA, coding, hacking, and everything that works together to make this world seem so real. It gets frightening pretty quickly when you can totally imagining that all happening in real life.
While the plot is amazingly detailed, with endless tension and action, it’s the characters that I most loved about this book. Catarina is everything you could want in a strong, intelligent, brave, and feisty heroine of a sci-fi novel. Where another girl might have melted under the hands of the (very, very) handsome solider, Cat tells him to get his hands off or she’ll break his fingers. She has survived in a seriously brutal world, is strong and ruthless, but also kind. Despite everything she hasn’t lost her humanity. And then there is Cole. A trainer solider, forced to protect, stubborn, and sweet (don’t tell him I said that). Together, Cole and Cat are dynamic, and their story only gets better and better the more the plot unfolds. Did I mention twists?
Of course, there are also a whole range of amazing secondary characters, a few of which I really want to know a lot more about. Hopefully in the next book. And now I am dying to read book two in this series. I know it is going to be epic and possibly heart-attack inducing but so very worth it. Can’t wait.
This Mortal Coil is a superbly crafted sci-fi thriller, intelligent, brutal, and impossible to put down, it is very highly recommended.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Viruses, plague, genetic engineering, father-daughter relationships, romance, survival, science, hacking, coding, memory.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Strong frequent detailed descriptions of blood, injuries, and gore. Coarse language, sh** (25), as***** (1).
Published: 7 November 2017 by Simon Pulse.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 432 pages.