Author: Lydia Kang
Series: Control, #1
Set far into the future, Lydia Kang’s Control follows the journey one sister takes to save another. Zelia Benten feels the sting of inadequacy every time she breathes and especially when standing next to her younger sister Dylia. Their father isn’t around enough and when he unexpectedly announces they are moving, it isn’t surprising considering his recent erratic behavior. Tragedy strikes when their magpod is struck and their father doesn’t survive. Zelia and Dyl are sent to New Horizons where they are kept until a foster family can be found. But when Dyl is violently taken by a pair of mysterious strangers, Zelia grows frantic and confused. The strange collection of people at her new foster home isn’t reassuring and Zelia discovers that everything she knew about her father and herself is wrong.
“Before I can utter another scream, Ren grabs my arms and lifts my body, slamming me onto the floor. My head bounces against the hard surface for good measure and white light bursts under my eyelids. I’m in too much pain to even whimper.”
I heard quite a few people raving about this book, so was curious to pick it up. But how utterly unprepared was I for the dreadful letdown! This book had a promising beginning with the interesting dynamic between Zelia and her sister Dyl. Although she struggles to relate to her sister, there is a bond between them that I would have liked to explore more. Zelia’s peculiar relationship with her father, who controls her educational interests with very little objection from herself, also deserved further study. But Control takes off too quickly to give either of these relationships time to be explained.
Zelia struggles with self-esteem. Her lack of interest in the mainstream idea of beauty makes her an outcast, highlighted even more by the ease at which her sister, though several years younger, finds herself admired by the opposite sex. Zelia is docile and compliant, but as soon as she’s on her own she discovers a sharpness in herself. Instead of explaining this sudden shift in Zelia’s character, the author leaps forward making Zelia’s character seem inconsistent, or incomplete at best.
Lydia Kang builds a strange world filled with a fabricated sky, automatically-controlled vehicles, and constant access to cyberspace in the form of an earring. I found all this futuristic technology distracted me from the plot and characters. Kang’s Control felt less like a complicated story and more like a mess. If you’re thinking of purchasing this novel, I strongly suggest you don’t.