Genetic Mutations and Secrets: A Review of CONTROL by Lydia Kang

Lydia Kang
400 pages
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: December 26th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn’t even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story 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 Zelia’s father dies in a horrible car accident, leaving behind her and her sister, Dylia, the two of them are devastated. That is, before Dylia is kidnapped by strangers and Zelia is taken to a foster home. Here, she meets genetically mutated teens and learns about a society hiding from the rest of the world. A society with horrible secrets and plans. Filled with betrayal, love, and action CONTROL is a must-read.

I will say this – I didn’t expect to like Control. Sci-fi hasn’t always been my favorite genre, but CONTROL blew me away. By the time I turned the last page I was happy, sad, and filled with so many other feelings at once.

Zelia’s future dystopian world is pretty cool, with all of its advanced technology, but it was still rather confusing at times. The plot is amazing, there are no extra, unneeded characters, everybody has an important role. I love how Lydia Kang managed to add humorous scenes in Zelia’s bleak and scary world.

Sure, sometimes I couldn’t help but raise my eyebrow when the writing got a tad bit weird, and the main character made a stupid decision, but the action and characters made up for it.

Speaking of characters, I loved every single one of them, especially Cy and Hex. All of the characters are beyond imagination. How many books have a hilarious friend with four arms? Or green skin? Very few. And that’s what I loved most about CONTROL. There were times when a few of the characters reminded me of those in DIVERGENT, but that’s where the similarities end.

CONTROL is a novel that you can’t miss. It has everything you wouldn’t expect from a debut and I assure you, you won’t be disappointed!

Add CONTROL to Goodreads
Find Lydia on Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 15 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a part time pirate and assassin.



  1. Reply

    Leigh Ann Kopans

    December 29, 2013

    Awesome review, Asma! It’s always great when the characters are so good that you don’t mind the occasional “WHAT just happened?” Lol

    Also, Lydia Kang is the sweetest! So glad you liked it. :)

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