Hacking our Genetic Code: Good or Evil?

Summary:

In this largely digitized world, whereveryone has an armbandwith programs and codes wired into them, nearly everyone has been driven underground because of the Hydra plague. People live in special bunkers controlled by the Cartaxus organization. Two people that have not moved underground are Catarina and her father Lachlan Agatta, a world-renowned geneticist and hacker. Cartaxus abducts Dr. Lachlan and his assistant Dax, leaving Catarina isolated. She uses her own expert hacking skills to hide from Cartaxus and, at the same time, aid Skies, a group of gene hackers who release medicinal codes to people on the surface. Then a Cartaxus soldier named Cole appears at her front door. He tells her that her father has died and that and she, alone, holds the key to the Hydra vaccine Lachlan was working on. Catarina is not the only person looking for the cure, and there are unexpected enemies at every turn. Starting with Cole - can she really trust a Cartaxus soldier? 


BTSYA Teen Reader (12):
The best part of This Mortal Coil is how the author keeps the reader in the dark, creating plot twists that leave you reeling. I always felt like she had a few dozen tricks/secrets up her sleeve and was waiting for the proper moment to reveal them. Viewing the dystopian world from Catarina's perspective is intriguing, and lets the reader witness how her character is forged by unfortunate circumstances. The futuristic world raises some very interesting ideas about human nature. For example, in this book everyone can change their appearance with a few lines of code, so issues such as race are not seen.

If you have a good understanding of coding, then you will be able to understand the concepts as the author presents them. If you do not, then you won't understand what she is talking about. The way this part of the book is written - at an elementary level, and not very well - is a little frustrating. Overall, though the positives far outweigh the negatives. This tremendous book is going to leave you on the edge of your seat, eager for This Cruel Design.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who love action-packed stories - even if they aren't self-described science fiction fans - will be on the edge of their seats in this futuristic world where science can be manipulated to any end. Recommended as a gift for readers who like unpredicable storylines. 

Content Awareness Factors:

The plot includes romance, profanity, and sexual references. It is not intended for a younger audience, despite its fifth grade reading level.


Type of Book:
This is the first book in a young adult series that as part of its post-apocalyptic setting pushes the reader to thing about genetic engineering and hacking our DNA.
Educational Themes:

Great science fiction blends the real with the possible, and genetic engineering falls into both of those categories. The story gives readers lots to explore with regard to public health and safety, governance (who gets to decide what is right, wrong, or best), and personal ethics, as well. 

From our teen reader: The values of humanity during life-threatening moments are apparent. This book will make you contemplate what you would do, and what you would care enough about to risk your life for.

Reading Level:
5.4
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 12
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. If you like science fiction and futuristic stories, this one is for you!
book cover

Title This Mortal Coil
About

Mortal Coil, Book 1

Author Emily Suvada
Publisher Simon Pulse, Imprint Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing © 2017
ISBN 9781481496339
Material Hard Cover
Cost $19.99
Genres Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction, Romance, Science - Technology
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