Review: Control

Author: Lydia Kang
Date of Publication: December 26 2013
Pages: 393
Source: Library Ebook

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.


It is one a.m.. I have just finished Control, and the fact that I'm not in bed right now reflects the quality of the book I just finished.

At some point, I remember thinking "Go to bed. You can barely think straight," and I couldn't. I couldn't just let go of this book. The story is too compelling and although there's definitely room for the story to grow, somehow I love it.

So here is my sleep deprived review. I like Control because it started with one key thing: action. Some books take forever to get going, but Control's initiating incident occurred early on in the story. The story then slowed down to explain the world before speeding up for the plot. In terms of things that happened, the list is rather short. That doesn't mean the story is boring. I was completely engrossed in it.

It wasn't because the characters were so amazing either. I mean, they were good characters, but what I thought was best about Control was its inventiveness. The story is genuinely interesting and has natural tension in it. The world is actually quite cool, and I don't know how plausible everything is, or even how well researched the bio parts are, but they are understandable by me. I had to keep reading to determine the big mystery and see what happened next. I suppose a lot of the stuff Zelia did was quite lucky, but that didn't bother me because the story was entertaining.

I said the characters were good, and that's something I truly believe. It's hard not to like Zelia, who is seriously underrating how spunky she is. She starts out shy because her father has controlled her entire life up to a certain point, but she manages to grow wonderfully. I liked that she felt real to me. She had little intricacies like insecurities that made her her, and I could imagine her personality.

These kinds of relationships matter.
A lot of the positives in the characterization came from the author's mastery of relationships. I thought the relationships between the characters all had depth. The dialogue and the reactions all felt quite real. Zelia and her sister's relationship was one of the stars of the book. They love each other; they know each other unlike anyone else, yet they nag at each other because there's so much about the other that they don't know. I guess I related with Zelia so easily because I'm an older sister too and I understand the responsibility one feels towards the younger sibling.

Other relationships stood out too: there was some romance, and I adored it. I thought the guy was a creep in the beginning of the story, yet somehow he grew on me. By the end, I adored him, and enjoyed reading scenes with him. He's a flawed character that pissed me off, but he had these really soft moments that made me melt.

There theme of family is so well explored in Control, and I think it's going to be prevalent in the series. Is family just by blood? To what limit should you sacrifice for family? What is a family? I genuinely thought the different types of families, and learning to accept the irritating people that somehow mean a lot to you mattered.

I'm bordering on incomprehensible and I'm having a hard time typing, so I guess I'll say that Control was a success for me. It knocked me out of my reading slump, and I don't know if it will make my favourites list, but currently it's a series I'm excited for and will keep an eye on. It's too interesting to forget. Plus, that ending. Aw. ;)



  1. I really enjoyed this, too. I loved how Zelia would do anything to find Dyl, and how she found a home at Carus House. I'm looking forward to the sequel!

    1. I loooveeed the sister relationship and everything that entailed. The ending is one of my favourites and I can't wait for the sequel either!


  2. I need a book like this! seriously, it's been a while since I go to be at one a.m. for a book. You are so lucky, you know? ;)
    Great review, I'll give it a try ASAP!
    Lis @ The reader lines

    1. Everyone needs books like this. But I get it because it's been a while since I did that too. I used to fall asleep around 11, and you can kind of see how special this one was. I hope you end up enjoying it!



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