Book Review – The Catalyst by Helena Coggan

Two souls, one body… zero excitement.

 The Catalyst Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Paranormal, Science Fiction

No. of pages: 448

From 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? 

Page border by Casey Carlisle

I was in cover envy when I first glimpsed this cover in a book haul from Benjaminoftomes, and after he rated it highly, I felt like it was a must have!  But it did not live up to the hype for me. The introduction into the new world of ‘The Catalyst’ was abrupt. I do like how there no lengthy explanation, but it left me wanting a bit more on the mythology of this world.

The concept of twin souls is a fantastic one, but its execution left me fuddled. Maybe there should be some awareness and tension between two beings in one body? (Besides the glaringly obvious plight of Rose herself)

Rose was definitely an interesting character and a shining light in this dark novel. The duality of her condition had me eager to read on page after page. Again, if the mythology had been explored further, I may have enjoyed it even more. I also felt her relationships were too convenient for the story, I’d rather see her discover new people and judge whether to trust them on the facts they presented. Walking in on so many established relationships, which are later tested was somewhat contrived. Also, Roses behaviour, her secrecy – I’m not sure if I completely get the motivation for some of this. It seemed flimsy and immature.

The style of the narrative didn’t sit particularly well for me either – the tone felt a little impersonal and stopped me from truly connecting with the characters. I did like some of the word choices, but on the whole was somewhat clunky.

I guess my review is also tainted by my dislike for the angel/demon genre – as ‘The Catalyst’ sets us up to believe that fallen angels souls have taken up dwelling in human bodies. I wanted to glimpse more of the human soul, more of the previous world clashing with this new one….

On a side note – everyone is mentioning Helena’s age as an excuse for some inconsistencies in the novel (and rating it higher because of it). While I agree it is an amazing feat to be published so young, I won’t take her age into account… if this wasn’t ready for publication and public scrutiny it wouldn’t have been printed.

Even with all of the negatives mentioned above, it is a great story and Helena shows great promise. I may be convinced to pick up the next novel in the series to find out what happens to Rose, and see if the mythology of this world is explored further… and if Miss Coggan’s writing style gets better with practice.

Overall feeling: So much promise, so little return

The Catalyst Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

The Catalyst Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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