Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund was a fantastic science fiction novel. I was not and am still not a fan of really out there science fiction, but science fiction that have some grounding in things I understand, I really appreciate. I also enjoy when the footnotes explore other issues and expand upon the book. It makes the book more colorful and fantastic to read.
The coming of age story presented in the book is one that readers of all ages can identify with. How do you deal with your new body, your new feelings, and your new--new because they are different-- relationships with your family. How do you remain the same, how do you change, and how do you handle it. What problems and challenges are addressed by this book and do the main characters solve it?
Those questions are the ones that the main characters are faced with, and I feel that Eric has written characters that explore those challenges and use the skills that they've learned throughout their lives to help them, as well as learning new skills quickly and working on identifying with adults and the new world they are sent to help shape.
Shaping the new world, something that the main characters are not originally out to do is something that they get involved in, and shapes who they are and whom they are to become, goddess, hero or something else all together. The book leaves us wondering if they will be able to fulfill the roles set out for them by the adults in their lives, or if they will go on, as many of us have to destinies unknown to all.