Title: This Mortal Coil (Mortal Coil #1)
Author: Emily Suvada
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2017 (Nov 7)
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction
**I received a copy of this book free from the tour in exchange for an honest review**
First of all, you must know that I’m a HUGE science fiction fan. HUGE. When I got this book, I loved the cover and the blurb. Let me show you just how cool this book looks:
Never would have thought that was the remains of a person, would you? Is it pretty now? (Well, yes, but ultimately creepier. Much much creepier).
I loved this book! And I didn’t even know it was going to be a series. So I was of course surprised by the cliffhanger, but it’s ALL worth it. The book will blow your mind 🤯.
From the very beginning, you can tell this book is different than all the others you’ve read.
It’s sunset, and the sky is aflame, not with clouds or dust, but with the iridescent feathers of a million genehacked passenger pigeons. They soar across the sky like a live impressionist painting in brilliant swirling arcs of tangerine and gold. Their strange cries sound like pebbles tossed against a window, and they move in perfect unison, blocking out the sun.
In a dystopian future, Catarina Agatta is smart. She should be as the daughter of the infamous Lachlan Agatta. In an age where a deadly virus is spreading and causing people to blow up, he is the only chance for mankind to find a cure.
But when Cartaxus, the military/government complex that has taken over, decides they need Lachlan, they come into Catarina’s house and steal him away. Her father insists she hide, and while she does, they take her father and his handsome lab assistant/Catarina’s boyfriend with them.
Catarina is left on her own to survive. With the Hydra virus and no vaccine, she must do what she can…her healing tech is slow in a world where everyone uses codes for their DNA, so she must be extremely careful. All alone in an apocalyptic world, Catarina just tries to get through day to day survival.
My father’s words were fresh in my ears, and they still echo there two years later. Never let them take you. Sure enough, even though the bunkers were faradayed and guarded, rumors drifted out about deplorable conditions. People were living in dark, dirty cells. Cartaxus had taken control of their panels, wiping nonstandard apps and code. Security was brutal. Families were ripped apart.
The choice was clear: risk your life on the surface, or swap your rights for an airlocked cell.
While Catarina hides, a Cartaxus soldier comes and claims that her father is dead, and any chance of the vaccine is left up to her. With a message from her father locked into Cole’s DNA, she wants to trust him, but after two years on her own, she’s not eager to go with anyone with Cartaxus equipment.
But she must trust Cole.
My heart stills. Suddenly it all makes sense. Staring at the scars on Cole’s chest, I can finally see what my father has been trying to show me. It’s so utterly, painfully simple. He sent me instructions to unlock the vaccine, but they aren’t in the ghost memo at all.
They’re standing right in front of me, hiding in plain sight, like the sonnet in the pigeons.
They’re inside Cole.
But can she really trust a soldier that represents the one company that took her father and controls the world?
Oh, how I would LOVE to use this in a classroom! There’s so much information, so much science…I learned so much about DNA and genes and it blew me away. The research that Suvada must have done to write this is mind-boggling!
This would be great in any middle of high school classroom (preferably HS bc the concepts are so complex).
I can imagine talking about sequencing and the genes that make up eye and hair color…discussions could be had about the moral implications of changing genes and behavior, as well as born traits. The activities that could be done!
I’d like to think that because this book doesn’t have any inappropriate scenes or swearing that I could recommend it for MG readers…however, I think the book might be too advanced with its concepts for a reader so young. I would say it’s great for ambitious readers and if you have one at 13 and up, this book would be great as a challenge.
Simply put, I would use and recommend this book for readers in high school level reading score range. The story is great but complex…and it’s full of surprises, twists, and turns. I never knew what was going to happen next. I would use this book in a lesson plan, so I can’t see myself keeping it out of the hands of any reader who loves science fiction and a challenge.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I give This Mortal Coil ★★★★★ as a whole. I would give it more if I could. I couldn’t put it down.
Every touch from Cole, every glance and smile is a burst of warmth that chases the shadow of the decryption from my mind. When he looks at me, I can almost believe I am the girl in his drawing, with her head held high and her eyes ablaze. He is like a drug, and a powerful one. The strength of my feelings frightens me – I don’t know how my heart entwined with his so quickly. Maybe it’s what we’ve been through, or maybe we really are broken in the same way, our jagged edges aligning perfectly. I wish we had more time together. I wish I could tell him the truth.
Let’s talk a little about the author, Emily Suvada:
Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.
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Read this book. It’s incredible.