Control by Lydia Kang

Control by Lydia Kang

Control by: Lydia Kang
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (400 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by: Lupine

Set in 2150 — in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms — this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

When their overprotective father is killed in a terrible accident, Zel and her younger sister, Dylia, are lost in grief. But it’s not until strangers appear, using bizarre sensory weapons, that the life they had is truly eviscerated. Zel ends up in a safe house for teens that aren’t like any she’s ever seen — teens who, by law, shouldn’t even exist. One of them — an angry tattooed boy haunted by tragedy — can help Zel reunite with her sister.

But only if she is willing to lose him.

Control was a very interesting read for me, and I enjoyed my way through the book. It’s got some very interesting concepts, and actually about four pages in I was hooked on the idea of earrings being able to project holographic images in front of your face – so cool, right? I loved all the neat concepts for a futuristic world, and I liked how most of them were relatively normal and not completely out of this world. Basic advancements in a field already in existence.

I liked the protagonist Zalia as well, she struck me as very rational and smart and she was easy to identify with. Towards the end I felt that she made some poor choices, but no one is perfect, right?

As for the rest of the characters in the book, the author gives a very easy going familial vibe through her writing. You could feel it emanating off them all when Zalia came into the home. I liked the friendships she develops, though I feel like the romantic relationship she eventually has with one of the occupants is rather rushed because his temper is horrible and I couldn’t see what she liked about him. He’s brooding and angry and cranky all the time and doesn’t let something like pain bother him, and then it sorta takes a huge turn around and … BAM. Love.

I didn’t love the ending to the story either, though it sets up the sequel nicely. I think the choice Zalia made was impulsive and not well thought out, though she does show extreme devotion to her sister.

All in all, I felt that this was a unique book, showing sisterly love even through tragedy and separation, and the bonds of a family.  I can’t wait to start Catalyst and see how things turn out.

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