The Catalyst

Helena Coggan. Candlewick, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8972-8
It’s been 18 years since the Veilbreak project went wrong, shorting out electronic devices across the globe, letting in something from another world that changed people in frightening ways, and leading to the brutal First War of Angels, during which the magical “Gifted” defeated the magic-less “Ashkind.” Fifteen-year-old Rose Elmsworth is a Gifted who works with her adoptive father, David, at the Department, this London’s version of a law enforcement agency. Rose and David are also “Hybrids” that face a monstrous transformation every six weeks, a secret they hold close. The murder of a Department operative leads Rose to a man named Loren Arkwood and into a conspiracy with far-reaching implications. Coggan’s convoluted debut has an intriguing premise and calls to mind contemporary paranormal series like Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, but the story is so front-loaded with information about the different factions and their sub-classifications that readers may be hard pressed to keep up. Double-crosses abound, but are fairly easy to see coming, and although Rose is competent and quick-witted, she isn’t the most engaging of heroines. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 10/11/2016
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 437 pages - 978-1-4447-9466-3
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-4447-9467-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-6398-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5318-6397-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-5318-6399-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-5318-6401-9
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