Book Review

Catalyst by Lydia Kang

Publication Date: March 24, 2015

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Series: The Control Duology, Book Two

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 388 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 2½ sm

In the past year Zel lost her father, the boy she loves, her safety, and any future she might have imagined for herself. Now she, her sister, and the band of genetic outcasts they’ve come to call their family are forced on the run when their safe house is attacked by men with neural guns. But on the way to a rumored haven in Chicago, Zel hears something–a whisper from Cy, the boy who traded himself for her sister’s safety. And when she veers off plan in order to search for him, what she finds is not what she expected. There’s more to their genetic mutations than they ever imagined…aspects that make them wonder if they might be accepted by the outside world after all.


I was a little bored reading this. I originally read the first book, Control, two years ago and really enjoyed it. I reread it earlier in December and didn’t enjoy it as much as the first time I read it, but still enjoyed it. I had fairly mediocre expectations for this. Like, I wasn’t expecting to be spectacular, but I was expecting to enjoy it a little bit more.

After reading almost 400 pages of this, I’m still a little confused as to what the actual plot of this novel was. To me, it felt more like she threw a few subplots together and tried to make them all work as the overall plot. Like, here’s problem number one. Oh, we solved problem number one. Let’s move on to problem number two. Oh look, we solved problem number two. Let’s move on to problem number three. Oh look, we solved problem number three. And that would have been fine, but each individual problem didn’t have much to do with the others? I just don’t think it worked as well as she wanted it to.

One of the big draws for me in the first book was the science that was involved. I’m a huge, huge fan of science fiction, and this second book felt very lacking in the actual science part. I just wanted more from this novel.

Pretty much every character in this book switched personalities from what they were like in the first book. And it just made me go “ughhhhhhh” while reading. I just don’t like it when characters change that much randomly. There were a few characters, such as Caliga, that I enjoyed more in this second novel. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the changed so drastically.

This book was just overall very anticlimactic for me. Which is not at all what I wanted in this conclusion novel. The ending didn’t feel creative and was just rather boring to be honest. There is this kind of fight scene right before the ending that just didn’t really seem to serve a purpose? It felt almost like it was there because she felt like she needed to have a fight scene at the end.

Overall, I would not recommend this book. This series overall was kind of a letdown. I’ve left it with a “meh” feeling, and that’s never a good thing.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*
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