‘This Mortal Coil’ has an futuristic and intriguing plot

As someone who reads a lot, I find myself constantly searching for books which develop new ideas. When I read the back of This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada, I was thrilled — it explores the possibilities of genetics, both as an asset and a weapon.

The basic premise is that protagonist Catarina Agatta lives in a futuristic world in which genetic technology has advanced to the point that people can change their hair color or download vaccines into their bodies with a few lines of code. However, alongside this medical revolution, a devastating epidemic known as Hydra has developed which literally causes people to explode. Her father, a genetic scientist, had been researching a cure to the disease when he was kidnapped by a government organization known as Caraxus. Two years later, a genetech-enhanced soldier named Cole finds Catarina and tells her that her father sent him to help her unlock the vaccine while staying off Cartaxus’s radar. From there launches a high-stakes adventure, over the course of which Catarina and Cole’s lives change forever.

Book Cover

This book is a whirlwind of shocking twists and revelations. There are so many, in fact, that I found myself a little confused at times as to who was supposed to be the “good guy.” (To be fair, that might have been because I read it too quickly!) There are parts which came across as cliche to me at first, but it deviates from much of this as the novel progresses. The thrilling plot makes for an interesting read which will genuinely surprise you and leave you on the edge of your seat.

For me, I found the concepts of genetics portrayed in this book to be equally as interesting as the plot itself. In this regard, I wanted to hear more about different applications and consequences of genetic technology. I thought that Suvada missed some opportunities by not exploring more of the potential effects of technology like this. However, between the genetech, the plot and the Hydra disease, I was still left with more than enough to think about.

I one negative thing I have to say about this book, and it’s about the main characters. I was looking for different, and This Mortal Coil definitely did not deliver that here. While they weren’t bad per se, there was little to make them distinguishable or interesting. The plot is involved enough to account for this somewhat, but I would have preferred if there were more details presented about them to make them more relatable.

Overall, this is not quite the outstanding book I was hoping for, but it has an interesting plot nonetheless. If you’re looking for an exciting sci-fi read for a rainy weekend, Emily Suvada’s This Mortal Coil might be for you.