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?
I have conflicted feelings about this book. There’s a deadly outbreak of an airborne virus that keeps most of society locked underground, there’s manipulation of genes, and there’s hacking. This Mortal Coil combines everything I love into one book; science and a post-apacolyptic setting. The book took a total different direction than what I was hoping for. I really love reading about post-apacolyptic societies and I was hoping the story would be more focused on the virus side rather than the science and hacking side. That is not what I got. It seemed to me that the virus was just in the background. It was only acknowledged a few times. I mean, the point of this book was for Catarina and her friends to unlock and release the vaccine to the world, but it seemed to really focus more on the technology and hacking aspect. It just seemed like there was so much going on at once and having scientific and hacking terms being thrown everywhere just overwhelmed me. It felt more like a chore to read this book than actually being able to enjoy the story and relax. I really felt like at times I was reading a science book.
What I did love about this book were the characters. I loved Catarina as a main character. She was super intelligent and a genius hacker. She also had sympathy for those around her and always wanted to do the right thing.
Cole was another brilliant character. He had this amazing protective instinct that just really made me like him as a person. He really cared for Catarina and his feelings came across really well in the book.
Lachlan, Catarina’s father, was another interesting character. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can say he was a genius when it came to hacking and anything science-y. I thought he was a really well-written character.
The first half of this book really dragged for me. I think I was just too overwhelmed with all the information that was dumped on us. The second half of the book was much better. I really loved the ending! It was very unpredictable and surprising. At first, I didn’t think I was going to pick up the sequel to this book, but the ending may have changed my mind. I’m still deciding. If you love books that are techy and deal with science, I do believe you will really enjoy this book. I’ve changed my rating so many times for this book because of my conflicting feelings, but I think I am going with 3.5 out of 5 stars as my final rating.
Sorry if this review was rambly and kind of all over the place. I had a hard time putting into words how I felt about this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and Emily Suvada for this advanced copy in return for an honest review.