This Mortal Coil

 
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It's three miles away.  That cloud the color of sickly pink is rising.  It's just the color it should be when a human body explodes.  A Hydra cloud.  If the wind changes its course, it won't be long before the cloud makes its way to where Cat is standing. One breath will be all it takes to kill her as the virus spreads through every cell of her body.

Cat's on her own for now.  Her father, the worlds most accomplished genetic coder,  was grabbed by Cartaxus and forced to their labs to work on the antidote to this new biologic terror.  He left Cat hiding in a saferoom in their home as the helicopter lifted off carrying him and Dax, his seventeen-year old lab assistant.

It's been two years and Cat has been surviving on her own.  She's used her powerful intellect to hack into the Cartaxus web presence to steal some of their well-guarded code.

Since the years when Cartaxus talked millions of people of entering their protection, the powers of the Cartaxus organization have slowly weakened the people by taking the tech that was inserted into their bodies.  Everyone has his or her own panel holding their gentech.  Cat is allergic to the nanites that run most gentech so her panel holds only six small dots.  The daughter of the world's greatest gentech coder can't run gentech without it killing her.

As Cat tries to outrun Cartaxus and works to empower the rogue hackers who are trying to fight them, she meets Cole, a Cartaxus warrior who knows her potential and has come to guide her to help discover the antidote her father invented before he was killed.

Incredible world-building with an eye to the future of genetic code, DNA, bioterrorism and technology, this is a fascinating adventure placed in the hands of one brilliant young woman and two guys.  There's a mystery here and some great plot twists.

Moderately paced, an underlying romance and sexual tension and the crown jewel, this author's ability to imagine a world we are heading toward.

415 pages  978-1481496339   Ages 13 and up

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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n this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

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?--from the publisher

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