Publication Date: 2nd November from Penguin UK (Children’s)
Source: Review Copy
When a lone soldier, Cole, arrives with news of Lachlan Agatta’s death, all hope seems lost for Catarina. Her father was the world’s leading geneticist, and humanity’s best hope of beating a devastating virus. Then, hidden beneath Cole’s genehacked enhancements she finds a message of hope: Lachlan created a vaccine.
Only she can find and decrypt it, if she can unravel the clues he left for her. The closer she gets, the more she finds herself at risk from Cartaxus, a shadowy organization with a stranglehold on the world’s genetic tech. But it’s too late to turn back.
There are three billion lives at stake, two people who can save them, and one final secret that Cat must unlock. A secret that will change everything
There’s no gene for Run Like Hell…
Or is there?
Stop the presses I’ve found my new YA trilogy obsession with Emily Suvada’s “This Mortal Coil” a fast paced, intricately woven, brilliantly fascinating and best of all intelligent and addictive thriller.
Actually I’m assuming trilogy I guess it may end up being more but this is definitely book one and what a book one it is. For a start we have genuinely likable characters, none of whom are in any way generic, who you almost immediately care about and by the end of the novel you are entirely attached to.
Secondly Ms Suvada manages to avoid almost everything passe and overdone in your classic YA post apocalyptic story and makes the genre seem fresh as the morning sun – her romance threads are realistic, her relationship building is highly natural and the world building is subtle, immersive and well achieved. It’s also bloody clever. Rather than stick with your everyday virus she has created a truly fascinating, scientific geek heaven, honestly believable outbreak and rather than zombies she has….well I’ll let you find out that one for yourself.
The sciency (yes I know that’s not really a word) parts are really really riveting, the tech speak is easy to absorb within the narrative, it defines and drives the characters and sets us up for a lot of high thrills and spills action along the way. This is one of those truly immersive novels where you live in it for the moment, a proper page turner that will appeal to all ages, it is an adventure of the classic kind brought into modern times with socially relevant themes running throughout.
Seriously also it’s like a YA psychological thriller spun into a fantasy – it has often literally breathtaking twists and turns as our anchor to it all Cat starts to discover some horrific truths behind her honest belief system and starts to methodically yet emotionally untangle a web of deceit that shatters the very centre of her being. The ending will have you up out of your chair, a kind of fist pumping but dammit now I have to wait reaction that encompasses all that has gone before it into one big bubble of reading trauma. Don’t you love it when that happens?
Beautifully written, skillfully plotted with that touch of subtle intuitive storytelling that makes a book a word of mouth success, I am rather hopeful that movies and the suchlike will follow. We’ll see. But I get the feeling I just signed on for one HELL of a ride.