Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mortal Coils (Mortal Coils, #1)” as Want to Read:
Mortal Coils (Mortal Coils, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mortal Coils (Mortal Coils #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,292 ratings  ·  133 reviews
Nothing interesting ever happened to fifteen-year-old orphans Eliot and Fiona while they’ve lived in the strict, oppressive household of their grandmother. A chance visit, however, reveals that there is much more to the twins. They are the offspring of a goddess and Lucifer, Prince of Darkness.

Now, to settle the epic custody battle between these two families, the fallen an
Paperback, 608 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Tor Books (first published 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mortal Coils, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mortal Coils

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
"We must not let the other family have such power over the future. We must make those children ours.”
“And failing that?”
“And failing that …” Lucia suddenly looked sad and tired. “Failing that, I will kill them myself
This book is epic in every sense of the word. I am pleased that upon a second reading, it was just as good as I had remembered.

It's got:

Terrifyingly intelligent, yet spectacularly dorky and awkward 15-year old main characters

An awesome, complex relationship between twin siblings

In the tradition of American Gods, fifteen-year-old twins Eliot and Fiona find out that they are the mortal offspring of Lucifer and the goddess Fate. It takes them around 300 pages to discover this fact (which is far too late in a 600 page book, IMHO), and that is the point the novel finally takes off. They come into their powers and have to pass challenges set by both the heavenly and hellish members of their new "family" to determine which side they will eventually belong to. While the langua ...more
Liza Gilbert

There were a thousand things that I liked about this book. The concept rocked; the characters were good; Louis, the father, was a semi-Jack-Sparrow-type; the violin bits were excellent; and the depictions of the gods/demons both above and below as crabby-pantsed egomaniacs was cool.

The pacing sucked.

I would have liked to have read a version with at least 200 fewer pages. By the end of the book I was shaking it and literally yelling "Get to the point!"

This is a conflict book for me. I would
Paul Weimer
Fiona and Eliot Post are two orphans on the cusp of their fifteenth birthday. Living with their grandmother in a strangely strict regimen of rules, their lives are relatively dull and uninteresting. The myriad non fiction books (fictional books are forbidden!) provide much of the entertainment and life for these homeschooled twins, whose only outside outlet is their work in a nearby pizza parlor.

Their fifteenth birthday, however, coincides with the discovery of them by outside powers, and the d
I liked a lot the only book that I read by Mr. Nylund maybe 10 years or so ago, A Game of Universes and I always kept an eye on his offerings, but he wrote mostly tie-ins and some near-future sf/thrillers which I generally avoid, but Mortal Coils sounded tempting so I got a copy and I have to say that Mortal Coils was a big positive surprise, funny and smart and with great characters.

Despite it's 600+ page length, it is also a very fast novel so I finished it much sooner than I expected.

It coul
C. Lorion
I can be such an idiot.

I hate to write this, I really do, but I must. Mortal Coils is a book that I saw on the Barnes & Noble shelf every time I entered the store. I always visit the fantasy/science fiction section, and for at least a year I would see this book. I'd pick it up,(at 675 paperback pages, it had a nice heft to it, which I love in a book, know what I mean? Yeah, of course you do), read the back cover (sounded like quite a story), read the blurbs (Publishers Weekly and Library Jou
I read this in one enormous gulp, and was left feeling vaguely dissatisfied. There were many things I really enjoyed about it, but it wasn't nearly as good as it could have been & that's always frustrating.

The premise is entertaining: Eliot and Fiona are twins, they've been raised in a bizarrely restricted household by their hyper-rational grandmother and their loving but frail and rather ditzy great-grandmother. When they turn 15 they find out that everything they thought they knew was wro
Eliot and Fiona must prove themselves in a series of 3 tests and temptations. As they race to succeed and survive, each discovers their special powers and struggles to stick together, even though others try to tear them apart.

What makes it harder for Eliot and Fiona is that no one is exactly who they seem and that makes it harder to know whom they can trust to help.

Honestly, I would refer everyone to the Fantasy Book Critic's review to get a better idea of what to expect from Mortal Coils. The i
Twins Fiona and Elliot lead a boring life with their grandmother and great-grandmother. Grandmother has developed 106 rules the twins must abide by including no music (not even humming), no fiction stories, no dancing, no dating; in other words, none of the things that most teenagers live for. Their only break from their routine is their jobs at a pizzeria although even this is not much different than home. Then, on their fifteen birthday, the twins discover that they are the offspring of a godd ...more
Joey Cruz
Mortal Coils may not be the best book I've ever read, but it's the best *kind* of book: one that starts small and grows more and more complex and exciting until you can't put it down for the last third of its length.

It's like that.

The problem I had with Mortal Coils is that it starts a little too slowly. Its premise is intriguing, but it takes almost 200 pages for the book to get really interesting, and then probably another 50 for it to get GOOD. But from that moment on, it's unputdownable.

Apr 05, 2010 Joshua rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoyed Gaimen's American Gods
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I've been a fan of the subgenre of fantasy, urban-fantasy, for a long time. However, in recent years I've been dismayed with the changing currents of the urban-fantasy world, where every monster is beautiful, and thinly veiled romance novels run abound next to Charles Lint and Neil Gaimen novels. I'm a romantic, but the stilted dialogue and writing styles of recent urban-fantasy novels leaves a lot to be desired. But I can't really complain. As long as people are reading, and more and more urban ...more
The premise sounded promising and I gave this one a pretty good go, getting over 200 pages into it. But by that point I was completely bored. I didn't experience any real suspense. And when I got to the scene with all the rats, I thought things were looking up. But the denouement of that scene was anti-climactic and that sort of clinched my decision to abandon this book about 1/3 read. I realize this is a YA book, although it wasn't classified as such where I bought it. Even so, I'm no stranger ...more
This is one of those books that just clicks. The prose is excellent, pacing is just tight enough to create tension without feeling rushed, and characters are given good voices. The blend of mythology is superbly done, and the details bring it to life.
Cecilia Wright
Oct 07, 2014 Cecilia Wright rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Recommended to Cecilia by: Found it abandoned in a charity shop
I adored this book and the universe. The grandmother was one of my favourite characters and I found that every one seemed to have their own story entwined within the main story. Julie was also a favourite because of her depth. Even the "bad guys" seemed to be scarily likeable and I found myself warring internally over which side the children should have been on.
Many of the reviews argue over the pacing of the book. I didn't really have that problem as I wanted to hide in their universe forever.
Got the book since it came so highly recommended and have to admit it wasn't fully disappointing. I love the dynamic characters and the over all story line but I could not get pass its few mishaps... Like Poseidon leading vikings and almost every Spanish word in it, specially but not limited to: "Del Sombra", "Banditos", "Buenos Tardes" coming from the mouths of people who are suppose to be masters of this language. I am not sure why but it annoy me to no end. Plus at the end it did feel a littl ...more
Mar 31, 2014 Keegan added it
Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund focuses on Eliot and Fiona Post, twins who have grown up living with their grandmother and her ridiculous rules, having been told that their parents are dead. But when they turn fifteen, they discover that they are the chidlren of a goddess and Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness. Now they have to pass three heroic trials to see which side they belong to: their mother's or their fathers. Whatever happens to them, they know that after it's all over, their lives will never ...more
This is the second book I've read involving twins recently however Fiona and Eliot are not the "touchy," creepily coordinated stereotyped twins. Sure they have their games - vocabulary insult - and sure they have no other friends - extreme isolation via their grandmother - but that's just how they were raised.

The Set-Up
Eliot and Fiona Post live in Del Sombra, California ("the shadow") and nothing interesting ever happens to them. They live a life regimented by 106 rules that include: no music, n
Okay, this book is SOOO long and at points and times I found it boring, at other times, I was at the edge of my seat. The lies and manipulations are just so intense.

Eliot and Fiona are twins, they have been raised since birth by their "grandmother" she has kept this inside the house, under her influence and away from any other kind of family except for their "great grandmother" Cee.

After their fifteenth birthday things begin to change and they start to slowly learn their heritage. Such as Their
I enjoyed this random book I found at the library. It's about a twin brother and sister who live with their grandmother and great grandmother in what is more prisonish than the most lock down prisons for real criminals. They can't even sing or anything, and are homeschooled. We find out (before they do) that they are the illicit children of a union between a goddess and a demon, and once discovered on their 15th birthday, there is a fight between the two great families (who are more like mob fam ...more
Jul 09, 2012 Alicia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Mortal Coils is a really interesting story – but it is a really long story. The book dragged a lot and it was very difficult to get into the plot when everything moved so slowly and we kept switching scenes to focus on different characters. I normally finish books within a day or two, this one took me weeks to finally finish reading. I’m not sure if it was because of the pace of the book, but I also had a lot of trouble caring for the twins, Fiona in particular. There was a point where I kind of ...more
Sep 30, 2009 Angela rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults, light fantasy readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Just finished Mortal Coils, this first of what I think is a planned Young Adult fantasy trilogy by Eric S. Nylund.

I liked it quite a bit. It is about two home-schooled and almost criminally isolated twins being raised by their Grandmother and Great Grandmother in Northern California. Their tidy and boring little world begins to unravel upon reaching 15 years of age and coming into contact with the families of their mother and father (presumed dead) who just happen to be gods... or something like
Robin Wiley
This was a good, solid read.

Heavier and more sophisticated than Percy Jackson/Lightning Thief series. Both the gods and goddesses from Mom's side and the fallen angels/demons from Dad's side have many different names, pull from all kinds of ancient beliefs and mythologies, and are all very uncaring towards the plight of humans (which you might expect). Think Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" - primal stuff.

This is certainly more adult. I wouldn't hand it to my 10-year old.

The kids are home-schooled
Lord Nouda
The beginning was seriously slow, the pace didn't really pick up until the nearly halfway mark into the book. We're left wondering who everyone is, what their relation is to the two main characters and who their parents truly are. The author spent a lot of time building up the plot and setting up a nice background story, by reinventing certain mythological aspects to fit into this "universe". Gods exist and they're not exactly what you would think they'd be. The evil counterparts to the "Good" G ...more
D.M. Dutcher
Two kids are the offspring of some god or goddess and some devil. One day they get found out and its time for them to complete some trials so people don't kill them and stuff.

I'd say more but this book bored me to tears, and I gave up after page 400. The trials as someone has already stated don't really start till page 200+, and there's no real hook to care about any of the characters. The twins are bland, and seriously repressed: not allowed to sing, own musical instruments, read any fantasy, n
Feb 22, 2011 Mortalform rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of superior fantasy, lovers of myth in fiction
Brilliantly original and compelling, well written. My highest recommendation to any who enjoy fantasy, and now I must go seek out the author's other works, because damn, if this is his standard the man can write!
Sometimes fantasy novels suffer in length, falling apart near the end to be hastily glombed back together for a finish. That is not the case here where the ending is as tightly woven as the core. Though the trials face by the Post twins are truly unusual (in the sense of being far from n
I enjoyed this tale of twins raised in a very restrictive environment by a grandmother with a hundred rules to govern all facets of behavior. They are only exposed to the outside world via their job at a local pizza joint but otherwise, they are home being schooled by grandmother and her endless homework assignments. Everything changes on their 15th birthday when Eliot and Fiona Post learn of their lineage. Their mother's side of the family are gods and their father's are fallen angels, i.e. dev ...more
I gave this book a fair shake (about 150 pages), but I just couldn't find the willpower to finish it. Like most genre fiction, it's overly plot-driven, predictable, and takes itself far too seriously. Stories that aspire to grand, epic themes should be prepared to back those aims up with some sophisticated writing, but unfortunately the type of books that tend to be the most "epic" are precisely those written by inexperienced hack writers or those writers who are just trying to make a living and ...more
First, if you like books where the real story and world are a mystery to both the reader and the main characters, you'll enjoy this book and you should stop reading reviews right now for fear of spoilers. It's a great read if you let the intricate details of the world, characters and hidden bits unfold themselves as you read. I recommend that you stop reading reviews right now and go read the book!

Not convinced? This is a tale of Eliot and Fiona, twins who are just turning 15 and, until the mom
I'm not sure what to think of this adult novel by the author of the Halo books. At first, I was all gung-ho about it, but it slowed in the middle and then picked up in the end. Interesting premise, but I think tighter editing could have sped things up.[return][return]Eliot and Fiona are twins who live under the strict rules of their grandmother--no tv, no radio, no social life. But on their birthday, everything starts to change (like Harry Potter!) Their parents become known and they find out th ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Prospero Lost  (Prospero's Daughter, #1)
  • Cracked (Soul Eater, #1)
  • Spellcrash (Webmage, #5)
  • A Devil in the Details (Jesse James Dawson, #1)
  • The Deep End of the Sea
  • Das Siegel des Feuers (Grim, #1)
  • World's End  (Age of Misrule #1)
  • Desdaemona
  • Servant of a Dark God
  • Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers, #1)
  • Zero Sum (Zero Sight, #2)
  • A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1)
  • Scandal (Scandal, #1)
  • Generation V (Generation V, #1)
  • Indigo Springs (Astrid Lethewood, #1)
  • Covenant (The Books of Raziel, #2)
  • Demonspawn (Damned and Cursed, #1)
Halo: The Fall of Reach Halo: First Strike Halo: Ghosts of Onyx Halo, Books 1-3 (The Flood; First Strike; The Fall of Reach) All That Lives Must Die (Mortal Coils, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »