Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Book Review: Control by Lydia Kang

Pros: interesting plot, awesome protagonist 


For Parents: minor swearing, drug use (but not by protagonists), off page sex, minor violence

Set in 2150, after the collapse of the United States into smaller colonies, Zelia and her younger sister Dylia, are devastated when an accident leaves them orphaned.  When her blood test shows she has a special, and illegal, trait, Dylia is taken by an underground organization that exploits their differences.  Zelia meanwhile, is taken in by an opposing organization where she discovers that her Ondine’s curse isn’t the only thing that sets her apart from others.  As she grows closer to her new family, she also becomes more determined to rescue her sister, regardless of the cost.

Despite most of the characters having special powers/mutation of some sort, this isn’t a superhero book.  There are a few fist fights, but that’s about it for violence and action.  This is a female coming of age story about growing into yourself and trying to protect the people you love from harm.

Zelia is a great protagonist.  She starts off timid and obedient to her controlling father, but when push comes to shove she discovers she won’t back down from making difficult choices in order to get her sister back.  And while I didn’t like all the decisions she makes (and she makes a few terrible ones), all of her actions make sense given her age (she’s 17) and the traumas she’s been through.  She’s never whiny as she works hard to find her sister.  I loved her personality as she becomes quite snarky and bad ass as time goes by.

The plot’s pretty interesting.  You keep learning more about where these powers are coming from and what Zelia’s father was really up to.  There’s a touch of romance coming into the final third of the book, including off page sex.  There’s also some drug use at the club that appears in 2 scenes.

This is a book carried by it’s protagonist and her quest.  It was a hard book to put down and I really enjoyed it.  It’s open ended enough for a sequel but can also be read as a stand alone.

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