This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

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This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Judy Davies
Reviewed by Judy Davies
Summary: This Mortal Coil, a book with a futuristic slant and a furious pace that challenged my thinking about genetic engineering. I really bonded with the main character, Catarina, who was a brilliant shaft of light in a world full of devastation and gloom.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: November 2017
Publisher: Penguin
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780141379272

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A life threatening virus is spreading through the United States, an already broken country with a Government that many do not trust. The top scientists are frantically trying to produce a vaccine to save humanity, but it seems a hopeless race against time as the virus mutates into new and stronger strains at a frightening pace. Catarina has lived alone and in hiding for the past two years, since her brilliant father was rounded up by the State and taken by force to work in the national laboratories. His last message to her was to hide from the State and not to trust them an inch. Set in America, but not an America we would recognise, most of the citizens are incarcerated in underground bunkers, protected by air lock doors and bug free conditions. Others, less trusting of the State, remain in hiding on the surface, hoping the virus will not reach them and avoiding anyone who is infected.

In a world where humans have been so enhanced by technology, it is hard to see what is left of the human soul and morality. Luckily Catarina is drawn as a loving, ethical, responsible heroine, who cares about others and helps us to hang on to our belief in the goodness of mankind. She understands that scientific and technological advancements are dangerous without proper ethical management, but even her belief system is challenged in a world threatened by such a deadly virus.

This Mortal Coil is the first part of a series and does not disappoint the reader in leaving him wanting more of such a fast paced and intriguing story. The plot introduces us to interesting ideas about what it means to be human and how far we can go before the humanity in us is lost and genetic engineering takes over.

With such an engrossing story line, This Mortal Coil is hard to put down and delivers a torrent of violent events which are like an assault on the senses. It is relentless action, hard hitting with images coming at you in vivid streams, leaving no time to draw breath. Luckily Suvada has factored in enough gentler moments to balance the impact of desperate people doing unthinkable things in dangerous times. Catarina is supported in the fight against the virus by Cole, a soldier programmed by the State to keep her safe. At times she doubts him, but their developing relationship is a high point in the story, showing love can be found in the hardest of times.

The amount of sci-fi information presented in this book is complex, and needs a dedicated reader to try to unpick the story in all its detail. It is worth it though, as the creativity of Emily Suvada is impressive and opens up a whole array of applications for technology, both beneficial and otherwise to the human race.

This is a must for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

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Buy This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada at


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