Series: This Mortal Coil #1
Published by Penguin Random House Australia on November 2, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
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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.
When a deadly virus takes over the world, what do humans do to combat it? With the help of gene therapy, biotechnology and DNA manipulation, Catarina’s dad has created a cure to save the world from being infected.
It takes a lot to surprise a zombie aficionado such as myself, but This Mortal Coil definitely surprised me, with its hacking, DNA and gene manipulation, combined with advanced technology and a futuristic dystopian world. I was impressed with the clear, concise explanations about how the technology is used, how biotechnology and science has lead to the virus, and how it infects humans.
I loved being in Catarina’s mind and how she reads DNA sequences, hacks into powerful security systems, and taps into the human psyche simply from her fingertips. She’s driven by her intellect and inquiring mind, along with her core drive to save others who are less fortunate. Her weakness is a disease that lives in her body, called hypergenesis, which prevents her from using gene modifications like everyone else.
That’s where Cole comes in – a genetically enhanced super soldier who has a black out gene to protect Catarina from getting hurt. He’s tasked to help her look for the cure, so he can reunite with his long lost love, and it definitely gets interesting as we discover more about his childhood and past. I adored Cole and his wistful feelings for his love, and how he was ingrained to protect Catarina. But this isn’t a story about a guy protecting a girl – no, she’s always telling him off for getting in the way.
“We live in evil times, Catarina. Sometimes we need to embrace that to survive.”
Dax, her father’s assistant, is also driven by hacking and intellect and it was interesting seeing just how much he was dedicated to his craft. While he almost formed the other part of the love triangle, I was kind of glad there wasn’t a large focus on the romance. It’s safe to say that I hated Dax with a passion and was really annoyed whenever he appeared, even though he’s clearly a close friend of Catarina’s.
At the core of the story, This Mortal Coil is about a girl seeking approval from her father, despite his absence. Their relationship is lacking in warmth, but she has this ultimate drive to trust him and execute his master plan for spreading the cure. As the story unfurls, the multiple twists and turns from every angle, connects the story to its core and its a complete thrill ride.
While the world and concept of This Mortal Coil is undoubtedly complex, everything was woven in so seamlessly and I loved hearing more about it. What results, is a smartly put together thriller about finding the cure to save humanity and a girl seeking approval for her father. With the combination of gene therapy, opposing corporations, an exciting romance and hacking, I absolutely adored This Mortal Coil and I can’t wait for the sequel.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a review copy!
This Mortal Coil is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$17.99.