This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book hit just about every sweet spot I have. Good, logical worldbuilding, strong (at times breakneck) pacing, engaging characters, and a late plot twist that made me reconsider everything that came before. There's a love triangle here that borders on cliche (the entire concept is rapidly becoming a cliche anyway; I wish YA didn't rely on it so much), but takes an interesting path of its own. The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is because at the end, the villain succumbs to I Must Explain My Nastiness Syndrome. Granted, the pages of dialogue that follow do give said villain the motivation that was previously lacking, even if the motivation is pretentious and full of hubris, but we also see the intrusive hand of the author, letting the villain bloviate just long enough for the plucky protagonists to triumph.
In fact, now that I've said that, I see the villain is this book's weak link. The main characters, Catarina Agatta and Cole Franklin, carry the book quite ably, and the worldbuilding fascinated me. (Even if I don't think genetic engineering and nanotechnology will ever be as simple as, and/or comparable to, computer coding and the way all three are presented here. I can usually grant an author one or two severe suspensions of disbelief per story, especially if the rest of the worldbuilding makes sense and sticks to its established rules. This book definitely qualifies on those fronts.)
I'd never heard of this author before I ran across her book at the library, but now I've pre-ordered the second book in the trilogy. I'm fully vested in these characters, and I want to find out what happens next.
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