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This Mortal Coil


This Mortal Coil

Emily Suvada in an Australian young adult science fiction author who has studied math and astrophysics. She once worked as a data scientist and now lives in Portland, Oregon. She still loves writing algorithms, the outdoors and chemistry. Her debut novel, THIS MORTAL COIL was released in fall 2017. Its sequel, THIS CRUEL DESIGN, will be released in October 2018. A novella following the main characters as children, THESE PRECIOUS SCARS, released in September 2018.

THIS MORTAL COIL follows Catarina Agatta: hacker and daughter of the renowned geneticist Lachlan Agatta, who lives in a world where implanting technology in your body to improve it is the norm. An outbreak of a deadly virus is sweeping over the globe, and Lachlan is believed to be able to create a vaccine. When Lachlan and his protégée, Dax, are kidnapped by Cartaxus, the technology organization that essentially rules the world, Catarina is left on her own. Then Cole, a Cartaxus soldier, finds Catarina and tells her that her father is dead, but he created a vaccine before he died. Cole believes Catarina can uncover the vaccine, but Catarina is not so sure she can.

"THIS MORTAL COIL deserves a lot of recognition for its complex genetics-centered world and fascinating plot. Sci-fi fans are bound to enjoy Catarina’s journey of self-discovery..."

Catarina was an entertaining point of view to read from, both likable and a little unpredictable. Dropping readers right in the middle of the action, Suvada holds nothing back with the instant brutal quality of this world. I started off a little confused, but as more past moments were revealed, I became increasingly unable to stop reading this book. The side effects of the virus were downright gross at the beginning but definitely shocked me into continuing reading the story. Because the book is relatively long, I expected it to take me a few days to finish, but that definitely was not the case. Each chapter seemed to warrant its own new twist and did not allow me to stop reading. I very quickly realized how well researched this story is. Focusing on genetics, which I’m personally really interested in, the science aspects of the story are defined in detail. I can definitely tell Suvada has a background in science, and she seems to understand the genetics of this world she created intensely.

THIS MORTAL COIL, both science fiction and dystopian, contains the most plot twists in a novel I’ve read in a long time. While some of the plot elements weren’t entirely unique, much of the world was unlike anything I’ve ever read. Sci-fi is probably the genre that I read the least, so I’m always a little more skeptical that I am going to like a book. But when I closed this book after I finished, I thought to myself in a good way, “What did I just read?” But the ending wasn’t the only time I felt that way. I enjoyed THIS MORTAL COIL so much that I could not wait to start reading the second book. Catarina, Cole and Lee have such an entertaining group dynamic, and I’m hoping there is even more of them in THIS CRUEL DESIGN.

THIS MORTAL COIL deserves a lot of recognition for its complex genetics-centered world and fascinating plot. Sci-fi fans are bound to enjoy Catarina’s journey of self-discovery in this frightening world. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy cutthroat, futuristic societies mixed with romance and friendship. I will surely be reading THIS CRUEL DESIGN and most likely whatever else Suvada publishes in the future.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on October 16, 2018

This Mortal Coil
by Emily Suvada