CATALYST by Kristin Smith


Age Range: 13 - 17
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Investigating her recently deceased father’s secret identity leads 17-year-old white, redheaded Sienna into the criminal underworld, a network of rebels, and uncharted romantic territory.

In a world where most children are created using genetic engineering from the company Chromo 120, Sienna’s “natural” genome is unusual. So she’s shocked to discover her father’s carefully guarded secret: he once was a Chromo 120 geneticist. Investigating his past requires that Sienna join the criminal underworld. Unfortunately, the particulars of Sienna’s transformation from an average teen into a skilled spy able to break into buildings, evade laser-detection systems, and pick locks is completely unexplained. Instead, readers are left to assume that it just magically happened during a convenient yearlong gap in the story. Eventually Sienna’s behaviors draw the attention of a corrupt colonel who uses Sienna’s mother to blackmail Sienna into murdering Chromo 120’s leader. Circumstances, morality, and her attraction to the leader’s white, blond son, Zane, cause her to abandon this assignment and instead seek other assistance to save her mother. Soon she’s aligned herself with a group of rebels—led by white, blue-eyed Trey—who believe Chromo 120 is performing illegal human experimentation. Unraveling the complicated truth of her father, Chromo 120, and her feelings for Zane and Trey will obviously require a second installment.

Conceptually interesting but too heavily reliant on convenience to succeed. (Thriller. 13-17)

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-63422-998-2
Page count: 300pp
Publisher: Clean Teen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2016


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