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The Catalyst

(The War of Angels #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  125 reviews
In a thrilling debut by sixteen-year-old Helena Coggan, a girl with a terrible secret is tested to her limits as her fractured world teeters on the brink of war.

Eighteen years ago, a dimensional break ripped open the sky, drawing humans into an ancient conflict. Otherworldly souls rained down and fused with those of people, dividing the population into the green-eyed, magi
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Candlewick Press (first published February 19th 2015)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  520 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Ben Alderson
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting read! I am looking forward to reading the next and seeing how the story progresses!
C.G. Drews
THIS WAS AN INCREDIBLE SURPRISE. I cover judged, okay?! I'm ashamed of it now, but I did. The weird eyeball and the vague blurb both made me shudder and squint shiftily at this book. But in the end? I actually freaking loved it. It's not a perfect book. I had to put my analysing brain on mute a few times so I could full enjoy it. And even if the plot left a little to be desired: the characters were ADORABLE LITTLE DEVILS WHOM I SHOULD LIKE TO HUG. Although they'd probably shoot my face off, so, ...more
Liz Barnsley
So I have to say first, that this book was written in first draft form when Helena was 13. Now upon publication she is 15. While we chew over that for a moment I have to say if this is the level she is writing at right now, good golly miss molly I'm dying to know what we'll be seeing a few years down the line...

Anyway more to the point - I thought this was brilliant and loved it with a fiery passion. Storytelling magic, especially if you like your Young Adult Dystopia novels but with a real worl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought a copy of The Catalyst last year in a clearance sale. I think I’d seen it online before I’d bought it. The cover stood out in the store but that’s not the reason I got it.

I was very surprised at the history of the Gifted and Ashkind. Not in a bad way. I’ve read about angels and demons before but the twist on the lore in The Catalyst is great! I really liked that Helena did her own thing and it made for a very interesting story.

Rose is hiding a very big secret that she’s kept from all bu
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating 2.5

First up, I want to say that for a 15 year old, Helena Coggan has some serious skill and I am very impressed. If I were reading The Catalyst and reviewing it based on a young authors competition or something of the like, I would probably be more likely to rate it 4 or even 4.5. Unfortunately however, I was given this ARC from the supplier so that I could sell it to customers. In that context, The Catalyst falls flat, and in comparison to Laini Taylor and Samantha Shannon (as it
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
The Catalyst is a brilliantly unique concept. Society is segregated by those who have the ability of magic and those who do not. Humans evolving and now hold two souls, the secondary entity determining whether or not you're one of the lucky ones. This is where the storyline becomes more involved, as you also have separate groups known as the Leeched, citizens that have failed their Testing as teens and have had their abilities stripped. And the Hybrids, da
** mild spoilers **
4.75/5 stars because I'm bitchy like that ;)

First things first - Helena Coggan is TALENTED. She wrote her first draft of this at 13 and published it at 15. She is SKILLED and has done much more then most 15 year olds.
On the subject of amazing 15 year olds, let's talk about Rose, the main character of this insane book. She is one of the most badass, talented, funny and morally-grey teenage characters that I've ever read about, and she doesn't hide it. Rose has a secret, one
Nicole Phoebe
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no, dnf
DNF at 30%
I can‘t be bothered with this anymore. I tried to like it but honestly there were so many plot holes, it was confusing. So many things weren’t explained well enough
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I will probably read the upcoming books and they will probably get better, I just wish the book has been developed much, much more. It has such great potential, the writing is so obviously better than the "adult" YA authors, and the general idea of the books is also much more profound; there is just too much incoherence, under-developed characters, irrelevant incidents ... it actually pains me to think about them. This is only her first book though, written at 13 for god's sake. The trilogy will ...more
This book was mostly enjoyable, however it had flaws which prevented me from giving it the 5 stars that it almost deserved.

Firstly, the characterisation was lacking. Rose was a pretty basic protagonist, not that pretty (but other people disagree), extremely talented, lacking interest in things most of her peers liked. In other words 'not like other girls'; aka my LEAST FAVOURITE trope. She was rather bland and machine like, however, the fact that we are seeing the book from her experiences mean
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book for an honest review and I want to begin this review by saying that you wouldn't have thought a fifteen year old wrote this- not in my opinion anyway because its so wonderfully written. If I've learnt anything from this book its not to judge a young writers ability, so well done Helena!

Rose comes across as older than a fifteen year old girl, she comes across as very mature and practically got herself a job already at the Department because of her Dad, David. To me
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on:> http://lauraslittlebookblog.blogspot....


Upon hearing that The Catalyst was written by a 15 year old girl, I knew I just had to read it to find out what all the fuss was about. I went into this with an open mind- no expectations; good or bad, I was merely just very intrigued to read the story that Helena had written and had published at such a young age.

The story that Helena gives us is actually pretty brilliant. After only reading 50 pages, I knew she was one talented
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given a copy of this book by the team at

The Catalyst was, first of all, a wonderful book. It takes place in a London sometime in the future, where the people are divided into those Gifted with magic and those not, in addition to Demons and Hybrids, creatures feared and hunted by the government. The Department, in charge of enforcing the laws, is run by our heroine’s father. Both Rose and her father have secrets to protect from their own Department, and when a runaway be
Full review over at my blog:

Disorganised mess. Nope. Just. No. It really shows that the author was only thirteen when she first conceived the idea – the writing is disjointed, and jumps between styles. The descriptions are cliche, and the characters don’t jump out of the page. Nobody is really fleshed out; Rose is your stereotypical protagonist – not too pretty, not that attractive – oh but she has a GIFT. SHE’S UNUSUAL. IMPORTANT. WILL SAVE THE WORLD or
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four and a half stars!
I really enjoyed this book, it amazes me that it was written by someone so young. What an amazing imagination and such a well structured plot. The whole concept was fascinating and tied up nicely, yet the potential for a sequel is very exciting. I look forward to seeing what this very talented young author does next.
azure ☽
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia, original
Original and intriguing.
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can find my review on my blog here (& below):

‘The Catalyst’ by Helena Coggan is a young adult dystopian novel set in a future where Angels have fused their souls with humans and given some of them extraordinary powers.

This book is set eighteen years after the Veilbreak when the Angels first crossed into our world. They split the population into two groups; Gifted and Ashkind. The Gifted have green eyes, in various shades based on their magical capabili
Catalyst was simply a mind-blowing and stunning read, I'm going to be honest and say that I did not know Helena was 15 years old to get this published, the story-line was gripping enough for me to want to read it. But for a young woman to achieve such height at a young age is amazing, and I for one cannot wait for the next installment.

I enjoyed reading this novel from third person, it gave me more to see with all the characters, we get to see how they progress from the very beginning to the ver
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic, a real page turner! This was one of those books that one gets easily hooked to and can't put down. I read this in a single day. Writing as a 15 year old girl, this was the perfect book for me. I cannot recommend this book enough. I really felt like I was living the book, not reading it.

The main character, Rose, is witty and intelligent and I loved the relationships between her and the other main characters. The relationship she has with her father, David, is well constructe
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was inspired to read The Catalyst once finding out that Helena wrote her first draft age the young age of just thirteen. Wow! that is really amazing. What amazes me even more that Helena finished her book even though it two years to write The Catalyst.
The story opens up with a crack in the sky that loomed over London. Private Thomas Argent of the Third Royal Battalion has been murdered, but no weapons were found at the crime scene. There was only one explanation, the killer must of used pure m
Kerryn (RatherBeReading)
3.5 stars

I know most people have already said it, but i'm going to say it as well, the fact that the first draft of this was written by a 13 year old and then published by a 15 year old - MIND BLOWN! And for having been written by someone so young i am impressed with the writing.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. I love stories set around wars/conflicts between magical and non-magical people.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Rose and her father, but having said that, i thought th
Daniel (The Blogger's Bookshop)
For a fifteen year old author I have to say this book blew my mind. The writing was exquisite and way beyond anything I expected. Some of the language and expression was extremely detailed and I really enjoyed it. Plot wise it fell slightly flat, the beginning was just a tad confusing (so much going on at once) but once the plot kicked off it really started to shape an enjoyable dystopian/fantasy novel. It was a unique idea that I thought worked well, I just saw so much potential with it that I ...more
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I. Black99
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Samantha Shannon's The Mime Order and Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson Series The Catalyst by the very Gifted and talented author Helena Coggan was quite a remarkable achievement. The story was fun, fast-paced and action packed. If these are the stories that Helena Coggan is conjuring at the moment then it is certainly going to be fascinating to see what she can do with the years to come. Many congratulations, a thoroughly enjoyable read. ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to DNF this I'm afraid. It didn't capture my imagination and for me it didn't read very well. It was very disorganised. Disjointed. I didn't get very far and I hate to DNF a book. ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-copy
4.5 stars. I hadnt really heard anything about this book before I read it. All I had to go on was the blurb and a feeling I'd like it. I did like it too, I really liked it. Rose was awesome and the plot twists and action gripped me from the start. Highly recommend. ...more
*Received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Thrilling and dangerous, this novel surpassed my expectations by miles! I really like the cover, it is simple but it stands out; the cover of the hardcover is my favourite though as in the centre it has a silhouette of Rose and her father.

Having won the war, the Gifted are superior to the Ashkind. For the past eighteen years they have been divided, but there are more divisions within the Gifted, they just don't know from w
"The next J. K. Rowling". LOL.
I won't be falling for that again.
Lorraine Baker
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Rose Elmsworth has a secret. For eighteen years, the world has been divided into the magically Gifted and the non-magical Ashkind, but Rose's identity is far more dangerous. At fifteen, she has earned herself a place alongside her father in the Department, a brutal law-enforcement organisation run by the Gifted to control the Ashkind. But now an old enemy is threatening to start a catastrophic war, and Rose faces a challenging test of her loyalties. How much does she really know about her father ...more
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Helena Coggan is a writer from London.

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The War of Angels (2 books)
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