This MorTal Coil
released OUT NOW! 450 pages | Paperback/ebook
Author emily suvada Publisher Penguin Books A post-apocalyptic future ravaged by a virus that makes people explode – great concept, right? But that’s only the start of This Mortal Coil. 400 pages later and Emily Suvada’s debut novel has thrown in everything from genetic engineering, mad scientists, subterranean societies and conspiracy theories to super teens, body hacking, uncle Tom Cobley and the kitchen sink.
The story is narrated by teenager Catarina Agatta, a surface-dwelling hacker extraordinaire. When not avoiding the poisonous clouds created by exploding Infected, she fights evil corporation Cartaxus. Most people live in virus-free bunkers run by Cartaxus, having given up their right to have non-licensed software in their gene-hacking cyber-implants. Catarina’s dad, Lachlan, is a brilliant scientist kidnapped by Cartaxus and forced to work for them. But it seems he’s left a vital clue to the cure for the virus in Catarina’s genes.
A fast-paced, unashamed page-turner, This Mortal Coil is popping with great ideas and entertaining set-pieces, but they’re all fighting for space, and there are so many twists that revelation fatigue sets in And Catarina spends the entire novel bleeding from so many injuries that you feel like a voyeur at an S&M club.
It’s certainly a fun read, but it could easily have been three different – less crammed – novels.