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?
****Huge thank you to Simon Pulse for approving me for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!****
Trigger Warning: Mild Gore & Graphic Description of Medical Procedures
This was a pretty good book, definitely creative and fast paced! It held my attention and made me curious about the sequel, but overall it wasn’t anything that blew me completely away.
“This Mortal Coil” started out pretty strong with action right off the bat, we are also provided with a good amount of backstory/world building as well but it never felt like info-dumping which was great. It’s also very much a survival story as mentioned in the synopsis humanity has been brought to its knees due to the deadly plague that has spread across the Earth, and the main character Catarina does anything she can to survive on the surface and is also recruited to help find a cure. I liked the details on the virus that were provided I thought it was a pretty unique plague too, if it wasn’t too weird to think a plague was cool I would think this one was cool. I don’t won’t to spoil anything though!
I really enjoyed all of the science and genetics aspects that were included as well, and it was all very believable there wasn’t anything I felt that was too over the top or unrealistic. Normally things such as DNA and the gene-hacking that people did would fly over my head or be boring but it was actually pretty interesting! I also loved that certain aspects of the story felt very “X-Men” and “Resident Evil”, which of course are two franchises I adore so there’s that but I won’t spoil anything by going into too much detail!
The pacing was pretty fast throughout the entire book and things were in a constant state of tension for the most part, it really kept me on the edge of my seat! There were also more than a few completely mind blowing twists, I almost couldn’t keep up! However, there was one twist that kind of confused me and seemed a little….far fetched but it took me by surprise nonetheless. Also even though I thought the pacing was fast it still felt like the book was too long and it felt like it was taking me forever to finish. I think if the book could have been maybe between 50-100 pages shorter it would have been better.
Another thing that I liked was that the world and characters were morally grey, everyone does what they have to do in order to survive. It made things very exciting because you never knew what to expect!
The characters were alright, I didn’t feel overly invested in any of them though. They weren’t overly complex or developed but they were interesting enough to keep me reading.
I felt that Catarina was a bit of a Special Snowflake at times because she was this “brilliant prodigy” and was the “only one who can figure out a cure” so that got kind of old but in general she was an alright protagonist.
As for the other side characters I enjoyed them but as I said I just wasn’t overly attached. Don’t get me wrong, I had moments where I was concerned about their well being but overall “meh”.
The romance got a little too intricate for me since Cat is in love with Dax and Cole is in love with Jun Bei and they’re all sort of in relationships but there wasn’t ever any affirmation, if that makes sense. Then Cat and Cole start to develop feelings for each other but then still have feelings for their other significant others/crushes. What? Why? Sorry, but I would have preferred if you’d ended the other crushes and then initiated the Cat/Cole romance because that just feels like emotional cheating?
Yeah, I was over the love square and got pretty tired of keeping track of everything. I also don’t like when plots start to focus heavily on the romances either, which it felt like it did the more the story proceeded.
Overall I did enjoy this book, did it blow me away though? Not really. I find myself pretty in the middle as far as the rating and feelings go.
What I Loved:
- Interesting World Building (No info-dumping)
- Fast pacing, lots of action
- Morally grey ambiguous characters
- Plenty of plot twists
What I Didn’t Love:
- Felt too long, could have been shorter
- Dragged on in spots
- Characters were kind of “meh”
- Romance was overly complicated and also “meh”
I definitely recommend checking this one out if you enjoy books with a little more science in them and also just plague/dystopian type novels in general.