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Review: Local author’s ‘Control’ a sci-fi look at possible future

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In the year 2150, genetic manipulation is common.

While trying to create a more perfect world, there will always be errors – “freaks” of nature. Life for these individuals requires them to be hidden away from society. These people feel odd, left out.

Zel Benton is one of those people. She has her own physical mutation, Ondine’s Curse. Her lungs “forget” to breathe, and she needs to constantly wear a device to assist her to live. Added to that, she is constantly studying molecular biology.

Along with her sister, Dylia, the two leave an isolated life with their main connection to the real world being their father, who works long hours. This has been Zel’s life for years with the family frequently moving depending on her father’s work.

When her father is killed, the two sisters are instantly thrown into a new world. As minors, the sisters find themselves at a place called New Horizons. Micah assures Zel that everything will be fine.

The next morning everything is changed with Dylia and Zel being separated. Dyl is taken and Zel is assigned a new home with a foster mother.

Marka, the foster mother, operates a safe house for those with genetic mutations and apparently had worked with Zel’s father. Who was her father? What did he really do? Why was he killed? Where is her sister? Will she ever see her sister again? Now that she feels like she is living in this Land of Misfit Toys, can she ever have a normal life, or friends?

“Control” is a futuristic novel illustrating our society a century and a half from now where genetic modifications is commonplace. This is a science fiction book based on the current knowledge of today and is definitely a possibility for the future.

“Control” is aimed at a teen audience in this dystopian tale with teen characters and problems. The characters are realistic with hopes and dreams along with a variety of problems with no easy solution and personal regrets. What is unique is how the reader is continually vacillating between protagonist and antagonist based on the action’s of each character with constant conflict and action until the last page.

Lydia Kang is a local author, wife, and mother who works as a physician at UNMC. She prides herself with the science in her novels. She has spent extensive time with the experts to ensure that her books are science-based, not pure fantasy.

“Control” is a phenomenal debut novel that fortunately has a sequel, “Catalyst.” This is science fiction for all readers, not just teens.

“Control” is a true science fiction novel filled with great characters who race to stay alive in this fast-paced page turner.


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