The Catalyst by Helena Coggan

The Catalyst by Helena CogganRating: 3 / 5 stars
Format: Hardback
Published: 19th February 2015
Book Depository | Goodreads

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?

I think dystopias set in London are the in thing just now. I felt this was quite similar to The Bone Season what with the aliens and all that. Though I would say that The Bone Season was much better than this, I did feel that some parts of it still needed some work.

I didn’t quite understand why some of the characters made the decisions they did. I didn’t understand why this top secret “Department” allowed teenagers to take part in investigations. It also seemed to be terrible at following its own rules, most of the problems in the book wouldn’t have happened if it followed the rules and didn’t tell civilians about top secret work.

I also didn’t like the references to Tesco, the Westfield Shopping Center and Star Trek.  It brought be out of the novel and I really can’t believe that in a dystopian setting after years of war people are just going about shopping like nothing happened.

But the thing with this book is I’m seriously impressed with the author, she is only 15 years old, she was 13 when she wrote this story. And while its not great, its not terrible either. It still needs some work but its an impressive first book for someone who hasn’t even finished school yet.

Buy The Catalyst on Book Depository

Thanks for reading.
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*I received a copy of this book from Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.


14 Responses to “The Catalyst by Helena Coggan”

  1. Lynn Love

    Ah, no. A half-decent book at thirteen- I’m still trying to write on of those and I’m old enough to be her Mum!

  2. thebookishuniverse

    I wanted to read this book because I heard that it was good and I’m waiting for my copy to arrive.
    I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it so much.
    I’m also surprised that a 13 yrs old wrote it.

    • bluchickenninja

      It definitely shows promise. I would be interested in reading any more books she writes. She can only get better, and to be honest it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read.

  3. jjz3

    Sounds like something my daughter, 17, might appreciate. And might inspire her in her writing too. Thanks.

  4. listeningaloud

    This was a good book review. The author’s age impresses me too! I also LOVE the layout of this post. I never thought about linking my book reviews to my Goodreads account. Great idea. I’m taking notes for my next book review. 🙂

    • bluchickenninja

      Thank you, I also post all my reviews on Goodreads too. It just means you get some extra people reading the review, and apparently the more reviews you have on Goodreads increases your chances in winning the Goodreads giveaways. Though that may just be a rumor!


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