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The Catalyst by Helena Coggan

The Catalyst

Part of the The Wars of the Angels Series
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Positively and dynamically different, this debut provokes and challenges your interest from the first few pages. Although classed as fantasy, it doesn't feel as though it should be exclusively pigeon-holed as such, there are so many things that are recognisable, it’s entirely possible that this could be just a few years into our future. While being enveloped in authenticity, an edgy and intimidating new world is actually laid bare before your very eyes. The provocative fiery ending doesn't neatly tie all the loose ends together, a sneaky few are left to burrow, to retreat, to steal away… leaving the doors wide open for a sequel to this stimulating and tensely moving novel. ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Maggie Patterson - 'it is full of great world building, character development and plot twists...a wonderful book.' Read full review >
  • Carly Lau - 'A fast paced story about a 15 year girl, her monstrous father and a futuristic war between angels and demons.' Read full review >
  • Edel Waugh - 'From the beginning this was a very interesting read, I started it and read 400 pages then looked up and realised I had not moved, you get the idea...it's gripping!' Read full review >
  • Lorraine Blencoe - 'I have no doubt that this novel will become a film and the future will be bright for the author. However, the unconvincing logistics and movement of people, places and time, I struggled with.' Read full review >
  • Tania - 'A good science fiction book that is a real page turner.' Read full review >
  • Megan Abbott - 'A cracking read! I do hope there is a sequel and I would definitely read it again.' Read full review >
  • Clíona McKeown-Bittles  - 'a highly interesting story with an excellent plot. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend this book!' Read full review >
  • Lorraine Baker - 'A wonderful book that I devoured in two sittings.' Read full review >
  • Chloe Shortall - 'I really enjoyed this novel. The world building was fantastic and I liked the characters. The plot was fast paced and exciting. I’d recommend this book for lovers of The Hunger Games and Divergent.' Read full review >


The Catalyst by Helena Coggan

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's past? How far is the Department willing to go to keep the peace? And, if the time comes, will Rose choose to protect her secret, or the people she loves?


The year's Divergent * Sun * 'A pulsing, labyrinthine, emotionally visceral plot' * Metro * 'The Catalyst was a gripping read. It is action-packed and not once are you left feeling bored or waiting for something to happen. What Helena brilliantly manages to create is suspense...a truly brilliant, gripping and suspenseful read

's Little Book Blog [The Catalyst is] very appealing and completely lively throughout. This was an absolutely impressive debut novel from a young voice who is fast going attract a huge following. Hunger Games eat your heart out. Loved it. Highly Recommended. -- Liz Loves Books 'Helena Coggan is only 15, and yet her debut novel has all the assurance of a writer in mid-stride. If young writers can overcome the stare of the blank page - and take care with characterisation - they can stand as an inspiration to all' * Guardian * 'At the heart of this hugely ambitious story, by a 15-year-old newcomer, is a great big universal truth - we all think we're different. The Catalyst takes this idea and runs with it. This is a stunning debut, exploding with life, ideas and passion' * Daily Mail * 'The Catalyst is a complicated, rich world of magic and danger. While it seems simple at first, nothing is black and white, and nothing is what it seems. Both fantastical and startlingly relevant and contemporary, it's tense, exciting, engaging and has at its heart a central character whose incredibly personal story becomes caught up in huge battles and some even bigger ideas.'
Claire North, author of

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

About the Author

Helena Coggan

Helena Coggan wrote the first draft of The Catalyst when she was thirteen. Her ambitions up to this point had been somewhat linear- she had wanted to write stories since she was six, and before that, she wanted to live in one. She lives with her family in London and divides her time between writing and procrastinating, which her parents insist on calling 'school'. This is her first novel.

Author photo © Matt Russell

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Book Info

Publication date

19th February 2015


Helena Coggan

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Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


448 pages


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Fantasy & magical realism (Children's / Teenage)



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