Control by Lydia Kang was uncontrollably good… sorry, I had to say it. The tag line on goodreads.com states “An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies.” I haven’t had the pleasure of reading that series, but I will tell you one thing; this is a thriller that is written by someone who knows their stuff. Remember when Harry Potter came out and everyone wished there was something magically special about them? Well, I have seen variations of this story spun countless of times, and there always seems to be magic involved. That is not the case in Control, there are a group of kids out there that are special, but their specialties come from variations of their genomes… or something scientifically smart like that. It is so nice to read something that sounds so ridiculously technical, it must be true (I googled some things, turns out most of it is true if there was a crazy geneticist out there… I’m surprised there isn’t, really).
Enough of the legitimacy of the fictional world created by Kang. Zelia and Dylia are sisters, and they just saw their father die in a terrible accident. Taken through the foster system, they are separated when Dylia is taken by some tough looking people. Zelia is taken by Marka, an old colleague of Zel’s father. What Zelia is not prepared for is the fact that her father worked with mutant kids, and that her sister is one of them. Desperate to find Dyl, Zelia slowly finds her way at Carus House, her new home and home to genetically modified kids. Here she discovers herself, her father’s real work, and something called love.
Love: I loved the love in the book. There was a moment when I thought there would an infernal triangle (which could still happen in the series), but thankfully the author spared us all a huge dramatic cry fest by not having a love triangle. At Carus House Zel meets Cy and boy is he something. Cy has the ability to heal all wounds, so every day as part of his self-torture he tattoos his whole body. The tension between these two is ridiculous in the beginning, especially since his hologram professor looks exactly like what Zel would look like, if she decided to wear a skirt and heels, coincidence, I don’t know. Cy also has dark secrets that intertwine with Zel’s predicament. Will he be able to help her? Why is he always trying to hurt himself?
World Building: Awesome world building in this book. Set in the future this is an obvious dystopian novel. To give some background of what is in store for readers, here is a small description of what the world for Zel looks like: “…after the country couldn’t agree on religion or politics or how to wipe your butt the right way, they divided into clustered States. Alms, Ilmo, Neia, Okks…each stewing in their happy ideals, all of them unified under a federal government weaker than my left pinkie.” It was exciting to see a future so hauntingly close to what could really happen. I am not comparing this book to 1984, but the realism of the changes to come was comparable.
Best Description Used for Character:
“He stands there, a pillar of ash and ink.” If you read the book and get to know Cy you will feel as if this is an accurate description of him. I love Cy J!
4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Edelweiss and to the publisher for an early ARC.