Spotlight Week: Control by Lydia Kang

This month’s Spotlight Week features the Sci-Fi novel CONTROL by author and blogger  Lydia Kang.


control lydia kang




400 pages, Hard Cover

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Published on December 26, 2103 by Dial

ISBN-10: 0803739044

ISBN-13: 978-0803739048



First Line:

Maybe if I move a little slower, I can prevent the inevitable.



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.

When their overprotective father is killed in a terrible accident, Zel and her younger sister, Dylia, are lost in grief. But it’s not until strangers appear, using bizarre sensory weapons, that the life they had is truly eviscerated. Zel ends up in a safe house for teens that aren’t like any she’s ever seen — teens who, by law, shouldn’t even exist. One of them — an angry tattooed boy haunted by tragedy — can help Zel reunite with her sister.

But only if she is willing to lose him.


My Review:


The book’s tagline, “A spiraling, intense, romantic read” is a bit misleading. CONTROL is way more than a romance story. It is moral dilemmas, fascinating science, and nail-biting action all rolled into one.

Unlike most Dystopian novels, the world of CONTROL is isn’t filled with barren wastelands or dilapidated buildings. In fact, there is a lot about the setting that I found extremely fascinating. Roads are filled with flying vehicles called magpods, and people walk around with holos—cellphones/computers that all fit in one neat earpiece. Scents/perfumes can be downloaded like programs and styling wands can whip your hair up into a neat do in a few seconds.

And the people have evolved, too—or at least some of them have. Mutants are both prized and hunted by the people who know they exist. Genetic anomalies range from having four arms, or two heads, to having green skin or the ability to heal very quickly. The main character, Zelia, thinks she is normal until she discovers that she has the most sought after mutation of all.

Zelia is a main character you can easily sympathize with. In the beginning of the story she’s presented as sort of “the runt of the litter,” after all she’s sixteen and her body is still under-developed and she has the Ondine’s Curse—a breathing disorder (a real disease), which makes her unable to breathe without the help of a necklace. But as the story progresses, Zelia’s real strengths begin to emerge—her aptitude for science, great skills in lab work, her determination to achieve her goals, and her love for her sister.

The other characters in the story were intriguing in their own right. The allies of Carus House and the villains of Aureaus House were all diverse, fascinating individuals with clear and distinct personalities. In particular, the way the Carus House personalities clash and mesh, and the way they interact with each other through action and dialogue felt very natural and real. Cy, Zelia’s love interest is a  bad boy (complete with tattooes), but is also a brilliant scientist. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop from loathing to loving.

The author, Lydia Kang is a medical doctor and her expertise in the field clearly shows in her writing. Zelia and Cy’s lab work, and the discussions on DNA genetics were authentic and well laid out. Their research into their special abilities gave me a renewed appreciation of  science and genetics.

I loved the many external and internal conflicts set up in the story. There was never a dull moment for me as every scene seemed to be filled with some interesting new piece of information, or some exciting action.

The story’s fast pace and “ticking time bomb” aspect made foreshadowing a bit difficult to achieve. I wanted to see hints of Zelia’s physical strengths, or at least see how her fighting abilities developed, before her final kick-ass battle. But other than that, I enjoyed every single moment of CONTROL.

CONTROL is an exciting Sci-Fi novel filled with well-developed characters, exciting plot twist, intriguing scientific insights, ponderous moral dilemmas and incredibly high stakes.

A word of caution: make sure you are comfortable and not pressed for time before you pick up the book, because  it is incredibly difficult to stop reading CONTROL once you’ve begun.




Tune in again on Wednesday for an interview with the awesome Lydia Kang.



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9 Responses to “Spotlight Week: Control by Lydia Kang”

  1. So agree that this was fast paced and didn’t have any dull moments. Glad you really liked this too and are spotlighting Lydia this week.

  2. Teresa C. says:

    I have to read this. It sounds intriguing.

  3. SA Larsen says:

    The setting Lydia created sounds absolutely amazing! I’m a major stickler for settings and all that’s visual. Love that! Can’t wait to read the story. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    Sheri at Writer’s Alley
    Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

  4. I have it on my iPad to read!

  5. Now I could read this dystrophia. It isn’t filled with barren wastelands or dilapidated buildings” Yes. I prefer stories that don’t tell us how bad the future is going to be. I’m very Zen in that respect and believe what you put out into the universe is what you get in return. Thanks for putting something out there that’s positive, yet interesting enough to catch my attention.

  6. Lydia medical background probably made this book feel extremely realistic Nutschell. Can’t wait for Wednesday!

  7. Sounds like a great read, Nutschell.

  8. Leslie S. Rose says:

    CONTROL is burning a hole in my Kindle. Can’t wait to dig in. I already know I want a magpod. Every since the Jetsons I’ve coveted a flying car.

  9. […] you want to know more about CONTROL you can read my book review here or watch the amazing trailer […]

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