The Catalyst by Helena Coggan ~Goodreads~
Published by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 2015
Hardback 448 pages ~The Book Depository~
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 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 received a copy of this book for an honest review and I want to begin this review by saying that you wouldn’t have thought a fifteen year old wrote this- not in my opinion anyway because its so wonderfully written. If I’ve learnt anything from this book its not to judge a young writers ability, so well done Helena!
Rose comes across as older than a fifteen year old girl, she comes across as very mature and practically got herself a job already at the Department because of her Dad, David. To me they seemed to have more of a best friend kind of relationship rather than father and daughter, this is brought to reason when we discover that Rose was adopted.
From the beginning with the prologue, it tells us of the Veilbreak but we’re not yet enlightened as to what the aim the scientists were trying to achieve. A hole is ripped through the sky and souls from another world bleed through, attaching themselves to human beings giving some magic and not to others. The most powerful are the Angels (we haven’t discovered much about them yet), the Gifted (recognisable from their green eyes) and the unmagical Ashkind (who we know once had magic but had it leeched from them when they took their Test at the age of fifteen, they’re noticeable from their grey eyes). Demons and Hybrids are also brought into the picture and they’re more complex out of them all.
After a war between the Gifted and the Ashkind a truce was signed and twelve years later tensions seem to be in the air again. Rose and David are at the center of all the trouble and are there to help keep the peace and hide secrets it would seem in order to keep the world a safe place. A Demon child, a murder and an escaped prisoner flips this onto itself and secrets begin to unfold.
I absolutely loved David, he’s a mysterious character that keeps this book alive. A copious amount of secrets are held close to his chest- he’s simply unpredictable.
The Regency group led by a somewhat “madman” has me intrigued too, I’m thinking he’s going to be one of those characters that you love hating.
A unique storyline set in the heart of London, its filled with exciting characters and a plot that keeps on thickening throughout. This first book in the series holds a lot of promise for the next book to be even more thrilling and action packed. I would like to see more development from Rose, I feel her character is following in the steps of David and needs to branch out onto her own path so to speak and needs to think for herself. Other than that I know there’s a lot more to be unraveled in this series and with that bombshell of an ending I can’t help but be excited for what comes next!