This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada [REVIEW]
Genres: Science Fiction
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: November 7th 2017
Format: Physical, HB
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?
⚠️CONTENT WARNING: This book does contain cannibalism and mild gore.
It’s been 2 weeks since I read this story and I still can’t get it out of my brain. I am SHOOK. Everything I see brings me back to this story and to these amazing characters. I read this novel as a buddy read with Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts and I devoured it in one sitting. I honestly could not get enough of it.
“The word was here before I was born, and it will be keep spinning after I am dead. The universe is continuous; I am the anomaly. I am the thread that begins and ends, the flame that sputters out. A chance collection of proteins and molecules that perpetuates itself, bound by the electric fire of my mind.”
Set in a post apocalyptic world where technology has become one with the human body, This Mortal Coil is a dynamic and inventive story that follows Catarina Agatta, the daughter of the world-renowned genetic coder, Lachlan Agatta. After her Father’s capture by the GenTech corporation, Cartaxus, Cat has spent the last three years evading the same fate as her Father and avoiding Hydra, a rapidly mutating virus that when infected can cause those to explode in what are known as “Hydra Plumes”. Nothing stays the same however, when a message from her Father reveals that she is the key to creating the vaccine. Sent on a mission to recreate the vaccine, Cat goes on a journey of learning that in a game of cat and mouse, nothing is what is seems.
Right from the first page I was sucked in. This is a fast-paced read that kept me enraptured through every page– each chapter moved the story along in such away that time flew effortlessly both in the story and in real life. Suvada’s writing is as vibrant as it is gruesome as we get to experience this adventure with Catarina and the cast. The way Suvada strings together words and sentences left me emotionally compromised with every plot twist and revelation.
The world building alone is a force to be reckoned with. Interweaving futuristic biotechnology with a post-apocalyptic dystopia, Suvada creates a world that is new and fresh within the Young Adult Science Fiction genre. Though her world building shows the amount of research and time she put into this novel, it never feels overwhelming–each dose of science and information is given at the exact right moment and explained so beautifully that it never leaves the reader confused or overwhelmed.
“There’s no such thing quite as dangerous as an Agatta’s best intentions.”
The characters are A1 Steak sauce folks. From the leads to the supporting cast, each and every character was thoroughly fleshed out and so multi dimensional that it made everything that much more realistic feeling. Suvada built the characters in such a way that the plot and the cast are one force–with each passing page another memory or dimension is built. By the end of the novel, I not only was able to empathize with the protagonists, but also with the antagonists. I understood their motives, I could see why they were doing what they were trying to do. I felt the emotions they did with every action, with every justification, and with every revelation. Because of these beautifully created characters, I was left stunned at every single climax and plot twist; my heart broke more times than I like to recall by the hands of these individuals–especially Cat and Cole.
I AM TRASH FOR CATARINA AGATTA. My soul jumped and leaped for her as she went through every obstacle that this world brought to her. The story is told in her narrative, and her heart for humanity is what won me over for her. She is headstrong, fierce, and one of the most brilliant minds I have gotten the chance to waddle into in a while.
“There’s no such thing as right anymore – that ended when the plaque hit. Sometimes we need to do awful things to stop worse things from happening… this is war, and the rules have changes”
This book takes a focus and hones in on the philosophical question of what exactly is morality? And how choices and views of what good and evil is are various from person to person. Who deems something wrong? And is it still wrong if it is for the benefit of the masses? We see our main characters, Cat and Cole, struggle with these ideologies throughout, navigating through them and figuring out for themselves what they believe to be is true. By the end of the book you are left wondering these same question about our own world–who decides what is right and wrong, and why do we believe them to be true?
Absolutely ducking nothing.
This Mortal Coil shattered my heart and blew me away in the best ways possible. I literally could go on and on about this novel and never get tired of it. I honestly recommend this story to anyone who love science fiction or to anyone who is in the mood for a gripping, heart-racing story. You will not be disappointed.