The Catalyst by Helena Coggan: Book review

The Catalyst
Book title/Author: The Catalyst by Helena Coggan
Publisher/Year: February 19th 2015 Hodder & Stoughton
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Not sure
Pages: 448
Source/Format: Hardback | Provided by publisher
(Thanks Hodder & Stoughton/bookbridgr!)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

*This review may contain spoilers!*

Synopsis

Rose Elmsworth has a secret. For eighteen years, the world has been divided into the magically Gifted and the non-magical Ashkind, but Rose's identity is far more dangerous. At fifteen, she has earned herself a place alongside her father in the Department, a brutal law-enforcement organisation run by the Gifted to control the Ashkind. But now an old enemy is threatening to start a catastrophic war, and Rose faces a challenging test of her loyalties. How much does she really know about her father's past? How far is the Department willing to go to keep the peace? And, if the time comes, will Rose choose to protect her secret, or the people she loves?


My review

This book got so much attention around the time of its release date, mainly for one reason: the author's age. And while I do think it is amazing that a 15-year-old can write a book and get it published, I don't think it should be the thing to bring it a lot of attention. I think this book should get a lot of attention because it is a brilliant book, not because it happens to be written by a 15-year-old.

This doesn't read like a Young Adult book at all, but I quite liked that. Her writing style is brilliant and I connected with both the world and the characters very quickly. I became invested in Rose and her father and what would happen to them. Their relationship especially, was my favourite as they had such a strong bond, formed by multiple things, but this book really showed what a father would do for his daughter.

I liked the government perspective this book gave, with Rose and her father working for The Department, and being a part of the law enforcement, especially in a world like this where society is so divided. I enjoyed reading about military tactics, and lots of other things that I wasn't sure I would like.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the story - the whole secret element, and Rose's betrayal of The Department was so thrilling to read, and it all came down to Rose, and the fact that her character made reading about everything so interesting. Rose is a fiery, determined, intelligent teenager who I loved. This story is the kind that HAD to have a good main character, or it would've been crap, but luckily it did.

This is a fantastic debut novel from a fantastic young girl, and I can't wait to see what she comes out with in the future!

Izzy

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