Book Review | This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Why did I leave this book almost a whole year before I read it? Because honestly, I have no idea. I seriously loved this book because it’s just so smart, the whole concept is unique but frightening at the same time (could humans end up being able to change the way the way they look just by programming their genes one day?). I actually finally picked this up owing to the latest TEENSGate event (which I’ll put a post up for as soon as I can) and I’m so glad I did. Full review below if you’d like to read on!

Title: This Mortal Coil
Series: This Mortal Coil #1
Author: Emily Suvada
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 2nd November 2017
Pages: 464
Source: Paperback purchased


‘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.


Okay so the best way to start this review is probably with my initials thoughts (from my Tweet)…

‘I just finished This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada andddd…
1. Why did I leave it this long because it’s AWESOME.
2. Very impatiently awaiting This Cruel Design because the last 50 pages especially were something else and just… yeah.
3. Cole is adorable.’

I hide this next fact about myself [sometimes] pretty well, I’m a massive geek. I love learning, and I always have. The Sciences were always my favourite subjects in school so This Mortal Coil has appealed to me for a long time. I initially tried to listen to the audiobook via Audible but I didn’t finish it. I’m not entirely sure why, I guess it was just easier for me to read the book instead? Anyway, this story is very heavy on Biology. Essentially scientists have found a way to take genetic modification to the extremes and everyone has a ‘panel’ in their arms and genetic programming allows them to go to extremes of having VR linked up to themselves and they’re even able to grow wings and horns with the technology.

The main character, Catarina (Cat) was smart and brave throughout the book and I loved that. Even when faced with difficult decisions she made the selfless choices and she’s an even greater character because she’s just so complex. She’s bad and good at the same time — but mostly good. It makes her personality far more real and easier to like overall. Then there’s the soldier, Cole. He’s basically a cute little thing. From the first time he meets Cat he does all he can to protect her from harm and although he’s essentially a killing machine he’s got an incredibly sweet side to him which I adored seeing! The rest of the recurring characters were very well written by Suvada, and though I didn’t like some of them (I really, really hate one of them, but that’s normal, you’ll see why) I still felt invested in them enough to care about what they did in the story. Every character had the perfect make-up of being good and bad at the same time, and their complexity just enveloped me into the story.

Negatives? There’s a kind of… love square in the story. I’m not a fan of love triangles even so this had me rolling my eyes sometimes but without giving too much away this doesn’t exist by the end of the book and instead the romance becomes “aww-worthy” (as in I pretty much teared up on my lunch break reading one particular part). I guess if you’re not familiar with genetics too this book would be hard to grasp at times, but the whole concept is so ridiculously smart and Suvada explains the background to it very well also! (My negatives became more positives… Not sorry, this book deserves it).

One reason I’m pretty glad I left it this long is because I don’t have as long to wait for This Cruel Design (due out 1st November) – my copy is already pre-ordered and I’m excited already!

In the UK? Order this book from Book Depository for free delivery!

Memories are weak. They’re fallible. That’s why I kept my scars.

Have you read this yet?
What did you think?

Feel free to leave a comment or Tweet @LuchiaHoughton!


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