THE REACTION is the second book in The War of the Angels series by Helena Coggan. Her second novel picks up soon after THE CATALYST left off and combines the present and past into a thrilling read. Coggan’s tale creates a story that combines science fiction and fantasy into a book that will leave you wanting more.

Twelve years prior to the start of the series, a war between the Gifted “(adj.) Anyone with magic–this will be apparent from their green eyes,” and the Ashkind “(n.) Non-magicals, distinguishable by their gray irises,” ended after six years of fighting. Rose Elmsworth, the protagonist of Helena Coggan’s writing, was born during the war and adopted by David Elmsworth, “Angel of Death.”

There wasn’t always magic in the world, but 16-year-old Andrew Ichor caused the veilbreak and brought it from another world. People then ended up with two souls, theirs and the one that determined whether they were Ashkind or Gifted. Afterwards, Ichor disappeared and was presumed dead.

“THE REACTION is filled with twists and turns that I truly didn’t see coming and that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.”

Our story begins almost where THE CATALYST left off. David Elmsworth has been found and put in jail to be on trial for being a Hybrid, a human with a sort of monster like creature living inside that reveals itself every six weeks. But there is more trouble afoot: the old war groups, Regency, Ashkind, and The Gospel, Gifted, are coming back and are ready to start another battle for control of the human race for they both believe their kind should reign supreme.

THE REACTION is filled with twists and turns that I truly didn’t see coming and that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. There are also flashbacks written in to give more details when characters talk about the past. At the beginning of the book, Coggan included a dictionary defining the words you may or may not have understood (Gifted, Hybrid, Demon, etc.) and I thought it was a really nice and useful touch. This book is also filled with betrayal and heartbreak from start to end.

Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop because I knew something really interesting was always happening. I’d recommend THE REACTION to anyone who really enjoyed The Hunger Games or Divergent series because it has a strong female protagonist and is a dystopian book like those. Where Helena Coggan’s writing differs from others in this genre is that there is no love interest. Rose Elmsworth is a strong female character who is so busy trying to save the world and not get killed that she doesn’t have time for a love triangle or anything of the sort. Rose also isn’t rebelling against the government; instead, she works for them and is trying to make sure their order is obeyed and another war doesn’t start.

I’m not sure if there is a third book planned for this series, but I sure hope there is. Even after all the crazy events that have unfolded throughout THE REACTION I feel as though the ending may be a bit of a cliffhanger, but it’s hard to say.

Posted by Andrew James