This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada | Review

Thank you Penguin Australia for sending me a review copy. All thoughts are my own


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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: November 7th 2017

Pages: 432

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

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 went into this book with some low expectations. I’m not exactly sure why. I had requested it from Penguin a few months prior and had been really excited, but by the time I received it I was a little apprehensive. I’m not sure if it was just because I wasn’t in the mood for a dystopian or what but I decided to pack it when I was visiting my friend, partially because I wanted to read it and so did she (she later bought the book anyway).

This Mortal Coil is good. Like, amazingly good. I truly didn’t know what I expected but it wasn’t this. The fact this book is a debut shocks me as well. It reads like an author who has been writing for years. Truly. There were some cliché lines throughout, but honestly those lines don’t bother me like they bother so many in the book community. I believe the ‘I let out a breathe I didn’t know I was holding’ line is used but, guys, I’ve actually let out a breathe I didn’t know I was holding so I don’t give two shits about that line in the slightest.

The only reason I didn’t give This Mortal Coil a full five stars is purely for the weird romance featured throughout. I’m incredibly picky with my romances in books though, and most of the time I don’t enjoy them as much as my friends. Also, I had a bit of confusion with all the scientist lingo and coding language. This could have been something I missed while reading and left me confused later on, but I nonetheless I enjoyed this book immensely.

Furthermore, the author of this book is Australian. I love supporting fellow Aussies in the publishing world since I feel I don’t do it enough. So, when I found out Emily Suvada was a fellow girl from Aus I was pretty stoked.


This Mortal Coil is a complex dystopian that focuses on the me vs. you that so many of us have. In this world, there is no cure for a virus besides eating the flesh of the infected. Resources are dwindling away and friendships no longer matter in the circumstances of life. Especially since Cat’s father told her not to trust the very people who took him and have been trying to create a cure.

The plot was incredibly interesting to me. I was completely absorbed and unable to look away. It barely mattered that I was staying with my friend because I finished this book in two days. It was amazing.

The author includes so many jaw-dropping moments in the 400 pages that truly leave you wanting more of her writing and world building.


For this section, I’m only going to talk about the main character very briefly. I don’t want to give too much away within the book by talking about all the characters of importance and relevance to the story. I really feel Cat is truly the most important character, as well, especially with how this book ends.

#C A T A R I N A

I’m not too familiar with hacking or coding. Which may be why I stay very far away from dystopian and science fiction novels. Terminology is lost on me and I truly am just stumped. However, Catarina was the perfect main character. Sure, some parts were a tad confusing for me (but seriously, I know nothing about tech) but I really feel like each component was explained in a way that the most clueless person (me) could understand what was happening.

In terms of Cat as a character, she was incredible. I personally found her wholly unique and unlike any other character, I have personally read about. I absolutely adore discovering characters like that too, ones that are so unlike others. Cat had fear, she had distress and she had moxie (to reference one of my favourite books).


I’m incredibly excited to read more of Emily Suvada’s work. This Mortal Coil definitely hits straight into my favourite books of the year. It also hits one of the prettiest books I own because the pages on the UK/AUS version is gorgeous!

I also apologise since this isn’t my best review, I’m a bit out of sorts since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve written and I’m playing catch up on the few books I read. I hope that isn’t too much of a problem!

Happy reading everyone!

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