Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Control by Lydia Kang

Title: Control
Author: Lydia Kang
Published: December 26, 2013
Series?: Control #1
Format Read/Pages: eBook/400
How I Acquired It: Penguin’s First to Read
Date Finished: December 19, 2013

*An ARC was provided by Penguin for an honest review. 

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story 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.


I was extremely excited when I was chosen by Penguin for an advance reader copy of Control. I had read a lot about it and it was a highly anticipated to-read for me. I was not disappointed and found an engaging and thoroughly thought out world within the pages. The story concept and technology introduced kept me questioning what it would be like to live there and how it would all shape a person in that day and age.

First, I must say, I really liked all the characters. I feel that they complimented each other in a way that made me eager to read the next interaction between them all. I would have liked to see more interaction between Zelia and Dylia before she was taken, but I understand to have the story we needed the catalyst of Dyl being taken for thing to get moving. One character that I did not really care for and not because it was expected because of who he is and what he did, was their father. I feel as though he was not fleshed out in a way that would make the choices, good and bad, he made have as much impact as they did. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Cy, but it may be because I am a sucker for ink. His story was one that really made sense as things went on and once we know his importance, the choices he makes at the end made even more of an impact and reaffirmed his need to take care of those he loves.

Some of the twists throughout the story were predictable, but they were combatted by the ones that came out of nowhere and left my mouth gaping. The truth about their father was, in my opinion, a bit obvious; I just could not fathom the extent of his involvement in the mutation of the children, especially that he would go as far as to do it to his own child. I also knew early on that it was Zel, not Dyl that was special. In some ways I wish this was not the case because I think it would have been just as good of a story to see a girl who has no extra power or special genes, fighting these extraordinarily gifted individuals to save her sister. But, as it was, I still loved what was written. The ending though, surprised me greatly when we find out who has been helping the other side.

An aspect of the story that I didn’t really care for, but was able to overlook, was the shared horror that Ana and Dyl went through. It just seemed like it was unnecessary to have that type of trauma happening to young teenage girls, Dyl was only thirteen. I understand that it was used as a way to incite hatred for Micah, but I feel as though it could have been done in a more tactful way.

I have seen some reviewers saying that they thought the middle was a little slow in places and I will have to agree, but it wasn’t so bad that I needed to stop reading or thought I would not get through it. The ending in comparison was very faced paced, but I found that the details in some places were a bit much and I found myself skipping through to get to the action and find out how everything played out.

Lydia Kang has provided a great first entry into an intricately woven new series. I will be looking forward to continuing on in this futuristic world with Zel and the others to see how life shapes up for them in a place where they are not accepted or understood. 

4 Stars 

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