Book Review: The Reaction by Helena Coggan
* I have received this book for review from the publisher but this in no way affects my review *
Author: Helena Coggan
Source: From bookbridgr
Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary of The Reaction from Goodreads:
'The next J. K. Rowling' Today Programme, USA
The Reaction is the explosive sequel to Helena Coggan's stunning debut The Catalyst.
For the first time in her life, fifteen-year-old Rose Elmsworth is alone. Her father, David, has been imprisoned and disgraced, a death sentence almost certain. She has been rejected by the Department, the amoral law-enforcement agency in which she grew up. Most dangerous of all is the terrible secret she and her father have been keeping all her life: if exposed, it has the power to destroy her. But Rose cannot stay hidden forever.
Around her, the world is changing faster than either she or the Department can stop it. The laws which have for years maintained peace between magicals and non-magicals are breaking down, and two rival militias are gathering on the streets to prepare for a devastating war. As deeper, darker elements of her father's past emerge, Rose begins to understand that the rules of good and evil in which she has always believed will not protect her anymore.
In a world of monsters, how long can trust, loyalty and justice survive? And how much will Rose herself have to change to stay alive?
Book Review Summary:
The Reaction is a great sequel to the Catalyst which features a great and interesting plot, enjoyable characters that were complex and fun to read about and great writing for someone who is still quite young. We can definitely expect bigger things from Helena Coggan in the future.
One of my favourite aspects of this book was definitely the writing, Coggan knows how to write a gripping novel and for someone so young this is nice to see. I also think that in comparison to The Catalyst, there is a clear improvement of writing here. The writing features two different narratives that work in unison, although I can see how some would not like this aspect of the writing, this was something that I really enjoyed as it was nice to see how the pieces of information get intertwined in the plot. This style of writing also worked well with the plot making me want to read quicker to find out what happens next.
The book follows the aftermath of the Catalyst where we follow Rose as she tries to piece her life together. This was a plot that I was definitely interested by and was highly invested in the plot, as there were so many layers to the story, like previously mentioned with the two narratives and I wanted to know where the story was going to go. This was a story that had many plot twists which keep me interested throughout and engaged as I want to get to the end of the novel. The end of the story was also shocking and surprising meaning that I just want to read the next book immediately.
The characters are one of the best parts of this series as they are quite nuanced and develop over the course of the novel. Rose is a quite confident lead and I think that she is a great character often realising the weaknesses that she has relying on help from the adults in the novel which let's face it is a rarity in YA novels. This being said the adults were often the characters that I enjoyed more in the novel due to their complexities. This is seen with Loren and David, who blur the lines between so call good and evil in the novel and you never really know their true alliances. I would definitely say that Loren is my favourite character in the series for this reason. Rose is also surrounded by a strong group of friends, and one of the other positive aspects of the book is her reaction with them which was always nice to read about. This is also limited romance in the novel which I enjoyed because let's face it saving the world from a group of terrorists is more important than having a boyfriend although the tension between Rose and other male characters was something I enjoyed and was a clear difference between lots of other YA fantasy novels.
The Reaction is the explosive sequel to the Catalyst and lives up to its predecessor which is a rarity in YA.
Have you read The Reaction? Did you like it? Leave it in the comments below.
See you soon,