I received This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I give it 4/5 stars.
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? (Goodreads)
I pretty much love This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada.
Suvada creates a unique, dystopian-type world that felt scary because it felt real. The book features tons of gore, plot twists galore, a smart female lead, and a cause to root for—saving the world! It definitely doesn't hurt that the cover is fantastic (and relevant to the story). I don't know how they'll top it with the second (and hopefully third) book.
As for my dislikes, there are just a few. There's a love triangle, kind of. It's more like confusing feelings when you think you love someone, but haven't seen or spoken to them in forever and you realize maybe you've moved on. And there's instalove, but the plot makes up for it and even explains it. It's not just two teenagers getting all angsty for no reason.
Additionally, I thought of everyone as straight because it wasn't out there on the page. Also, no one's race is explicitly stated, so I pretty much envisioned everyone, except one character who was described as having darker skin (eh), as white.
The main character, Catarina Agatta (White? Maybe? Who knows?), is revealed to be a DNA-changing person named Jun Bei Meng (I think it was Meng). I felt highly uncomfortable by this plot twist. It felt very Scarlett Johansson's GHOST IN THE SHELL. As a white person, I can't accurately gauge this plot twist in terms of being problematic or not, but it feels problematic. I believe Agata is a Japanese surname, but Agatta (two Ts) is not? Again, I'm not the proper person to delve into this, but I did want to put it out there that this happens and it's weird, and I don't know...
Despite that, I did enjoy the book and look forward to the second. Hopefully that one part is smoothed out and explained in more detail.
This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada was published November 7, 2017.