Catalyst (Control, #2)

catalystWritten by Lydia Kang

The children in this story have to stick together to survive. They all have “traits” that some people want to exploit: some want to “experiment” with them, while others want to get rid of them. Almost everyone else is afraid of them. Some of the traits are: the ability to make others physically sick when someone gets around them, the ability to live forever (unless they are killed), the ability to live and breathe in the water, the ability to change skin color, the ability to speak to someone in their mind, and the ability to have four arms.

The “family” lived in Neia (the author renames the states by combining two letters of two states together. The family must leave and decide to split up…they will meet again in Chicago in two weeks. Zelia and Caliga will be traveling together. Caligia makes everyone else sick when they get within three feet of her. Zelia is immune because she was given a potion that makes her able to endure being around Caliga.

Zelia and Caliga travel as quickly as they can to the border and find two more “trait” children on their way. They can’t get through the line to enter Ilmo and end up in Inky where they must remain for two weeks under the control of Julian, who has his own trait.Multiple problems make it very difficult for the children to leave Inky. They finally get out and travel to Chicago. They must then leave and travel to Wingfield. There they will be safe, they hope.

There are twists and turns, ups and downs, that the children must make adjustments to overcome. They survive only to find that one of the children is a spy. They must escape again. This time not everyone survives the departure. Finally they travel to a place where they can find a place for themselves. There are secrets, plans that both succeed and some that do not that make this book a page turner to discover how the children find a safe haven.

Review by Kristine Johnson, Teacher, West Lake Junior High
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 7-12

Author Website:

Catalyst (Control, #2)
Written by Lydia Kang
Kathy Dawson Books, an imprint of Penguin Group
393 pages
Release Date: March 24, 2015

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