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Well, this book has everything that you could ask for in a dystopian novel, and more. There is some romance, there are a whole lot of horrible dystopian goings-on, including a particularly unpleasant virus which makes people explode (might need to check the science on that), and a marvellous array of geek-speak which is wonderful.
Our fearless heroine Catarina – known as Cat – is the daughter of a famous geneticist who, it was hoped, had the fix for the virus which is devastating what’s left of the known world.
When Cat hears of her father’s death from a soldier who has been gene-hacked – this is quite common in this story – she also discovers that there’s a code which she, and quite likely only she, can possibly crack, to save the world.
Yes, I know, you have heard this all before.
But what makes it different is the complexity and interweaving of all the various strands in this novel. Emily Suvada has degrees in math and astrophysics, and her expertise is well-utilised. While I did have to suspend disbelief several times, I still wanted to keep reading and see how it all turns out.
There are a zillion twists and turns, and those whom you think are evil may not be. And vica versa.
I would recommend it to any dystopia-lover, but if you have never read a YA dystopian fiction novel, this might not be the one to begin with.
Reviewed by Sue Esterman
This Mortal Coil
by Emily Suvada
Published by Penguin Books