Blurb from Goodreads
*The extraordinary conclusion to the This Mortal Coil trilogy – who will survive the oncoming storm?*
Two factions at war
A plague that can’t be stopped
A cure that could destroy them all . . .
Cat’s hacking skills weren’t enough to keep her from losing everything – her identity, her past, and now her freedom.
Meanwhile, the person who’s stolen everything from her is close to realising a hacker’s dream: the solution to humanity’s problems in gene form. Or so she thinks . . .
But now a new threat has emerged – a threat that could bring the world to the brink of a devastating war.
Both sides will stop at nothing to seize control of humanity’s future, and that the centre of this war is Cat, and a race against the clock save millions of lives . . .
And so the ultimate tropetacular fest of science batshittery draws to its conclusion and I’m feeling somewhat underwhelmed.
That’s not to say that this was a poor book… but endings are just hard. And I’m not sure I was ever going to truly be happy with any ending that didn’t have a bit more emotional fallout than this one.
SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1 (This Mortal Coil) AND 2 (This Cruel Design)
ALSO mild(ish) spoilers for book 3 (This Vicious Cure)
Things I loved:
The crackpot science was utterly fascinating in this though. Honestly I was glad that I have an understanding of viral biology because this did get rather twisty and convoluted with it’s general head wreckingness! But I was 100% here for it. I really did love the whole science system of these books.
THE DUAL PERSPECTIVE!
Getting to live inside the minds of both June Bei and Cat really amped up the morally grey aspect of this book. I think that’s one of the standout features of this series. There is so much moral ambiguity. No one is entirely good nor entirely evil. There is reason, there is manipulation, there is an attempt to do things on a macro versus micro level and how easy it is to lose sight of what it is makes us truly human.
Things I loved a little less:
In books one and two I adored the pace. It was flawless. This book…ahhh it was just slightly off. I think it just found it hard to balance the dual perspective with not actually sacrificing the flow of the narrative. So the chapters were laid out in alternate fashion starting with June Bei and then immediately followed by Cat’s PoV. And pretty much every chapter ended on some sort of cliffhanger and then boom…next chapter was from the other person’s perspective and it just rankled with me.
I really felt like he disappeared in this novel. I’m not sure the memory wipe at the end of This Cruel Design was a great choice for this third novel. It was a brilliant plot twist in book two…but dealing with the actual repercussions of it meant that we lost a tonne of character development and a big part of that development was the relationship between Cole and Cat. And spoilers for this book: it was shown that they had this connection he couldn’t explain but I would have liked more by the ending… I know the ending left room for it to happen but I’m someone who likes a good old dollop of romance in her books and I just didn’t get that from this.
I think what’s becoming more evident to me as I gather my thoughts together about this book that even though I loved the dual perspective of June Bei and Cat in theory, in actuality it caused there to be a distinct lack of character development for the side characters. Admittedly these books have never been character focused per se and are definitely more plot oriented but that didn’t bother me so much in books one and two as it did here in the third.
- Dax as head of Cartaxus?? I don’t buy it. Another one like Cole that felt more like a figurehead rather than genuine character in this book.
- I still am not convinced by Dax and Leoben as a genuine relationship; I just felt it was a convenient pairing rather than an authentically written one.
- Same goes for June Bei and Mato… but at least that one had a more fulfilling ending though lol!
- Ruse I’m entirely confused about. Can’t understand the point to their storyline and motivations at all.
- Novak…lol no. Just showed up in a deus ex machina style as required.
- Ziana was essentially a manic pixie dream lab rat.
- And Anna was just a whole lot of pointless aggro but with no meaty bite.
Lachlan and Viper.
The most neutered bad guys ever. Yes we got their human side Viper especially but I think I would have liked a bit more drama from the pivotal endpoint of the whole Hydra saga.
Not properly explained enough I felt. There was a little lack of coherency regarding the evolution of Hydra in this book and ultimately the lurkers were such dull bad guy lackeys here. Never once felt a rise in tension while I was reading about the.
I honestly don’t get the point of the freaking pigeons at the end.
Overall it seems I have a lot of niggles about this book even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. This is still a series that I highly recommend however. It was always going to be hard to keep to the quality of book one and in many respects it is surprising that book two was as great as it was. Book three was a slight disappointment but for people who like definitive conclusions to their series reads this ending will tick a lot of boxes!