Series: This Mortal Coil #1
Published by Penguin Books Ltd on November 2nd 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
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When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta's death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world's leading geneticist, and humanity's best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole's genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.
Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world's genetic tech. But it's too late to turn back.
There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything.
Emily Suvada’s debut novel, This Mortal Coil, is set in a terrifying future where a destructive plague threatens the human race. In this future, cybertechnology has progressed so far that everyone is implanted with a bud in their arm at birth, which grows into a neural network controlled with a panel in the forearm. Nanotechnology can heal or change bodies. When the plague known as Hydra threatens the surface, the population flock to underground bunkers controlled by the Cartaxus corporation. But the virus is evolving, and only Catarina, the daughter of a brilliant geneticist, has a chance of creating the vaccine that could save the human race.
A very happy book birthday to This Mortal Coil, today!
Okay, things about this book. It seems to be very polarising in the Goodreads review ‘verse, so I’ll summarise my feelings about it.
- I did enjoy it! Some people said it went on too long, but I don’t necessarily agree. Yes, perhaps it could have had a bit less travelling, but the action parts were exciting.
- Also, the Hydra virus. Turns you into a shambling horror, and when your organs finally give up, you explode, infecting everyone around you. And the only way to get temporary immunity, is to eat the flesh of someone who is already infected. It’s zombies in reverse! How awesome is that?
- Predictable. Yes, I guessed a lot of the twists, and I don’t usually.
- There’s a mild love triangle/square, but the main pairing is very sweet.
- The cyber-science is awesome! I’m no expert on genetics or nanotechnology, but it all sounded rather plausible and terrifying to me. Although the instant healing tech would be very useful.
- The characters are a little flat. But this is a post-apocalyptic thriller, so personality kind of gets muffled by fighting for your life, doesn’t it? (No, actually, that’s a terrible excuse)
- Not stand-alone. Yep, there’s more to come.
Tension throughout the book stems from the feeling that you just never know who to trust. Can Catarina trust the Cartaxus corporation, protecting the people in their underground facility? Or the rebel hacker group, the Skies?
If a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk society with a dash of zombie sounds like your thing, then This Mortal Coil is worth a read. It is aimed at the YA market, though. So if you read a lot of cyberpunk thrillers, this might not be for you.