'' ''He's not crazy,'' Hunter responded immediately in defence. ''I just think it's the only way he knows how to live in this crazy world - to act even crazier.'' ''
Alone. Abandoned. Threatened. Natalie has lost all hope for a better future. Everything she’s known and everyone she’s ever loved is gone, and it’s up to her to get her old life back. In Michael Evans’s first novel, Control Freakz, Natalie’s journey toward a better life begins.
When Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Ethan and Hunter. With nothing to lose, and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government. They want answers. And they’re willing to jeopardize everything in desperate pursuit.
Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. Her spirits crushed and her will to live destroyed, Natalie knows everything is dead and gone, and soon she will be, too.
Memories connect us to the past, and can often cause us to long for a better future, but they can drive our minds into a state of hell if a better future is unattainable. Nevertheless, Natalie’s hope for a better a future remains.
To say that this book was an easy read would like saying that climbing Mount Everest was like a beach getaway. All the characters slowly descend into madness and without knowing, the reader might too.
This is Michael Evans' first published novel, and the news is there is a second one coming titled Delusional. Evans is just fifteen years old of age, when he got his publishing deal, so a round of applause for that!
Control Freakz is told in multiple POV's. Set in the not so distant future, the world we know has developed highly advanced technology alongside a highly corrupted government. The world building happens slowly, later in the book. Since it's set in the real world, it's assumed that we know how everything works. I would've really wanted to get a broader insight into the technology, and all other advancements made between now and the beginning of the book.
The plot moves with a rapid speed, in the beginning, making it a bit hard keeping tabs on where the characters were at times. Especially since they are running a lot, escaping soldiers and seeking their haven, the surroundings are a bit blurred. But when the pace settles to a little more peaceful one, it stays there. What I really noticed is that you can't really read this book with half-attention. Missing some minor detail and then being confused later is what's going to happen. There is some foreshadowing going on throughout the book, and some of the info the reader gets seems quite insignificant at the moment but then begins making sense more towards the end. And oh boy, the end. The pace starts picking up tremendously and it is impossible to put the book down for the last sixty pages or so.
It rarely happens, but sometimes you like the side characters so much more than the main character. Actually, at times, Natalie's reactions started to get a bit old. I get it, we all react to certain things in our own ways, but the reader always hopes for development and when no such thing happens, you can't help but be a little disappointed.
With all the characters, what I enjoyed the most, was seeing them slowly descend into madness. It would start small, then little by little, you would realise that there is no rational thought left in their heads.
All in all, I enjoyed reading Control Freakz. It's refreshing to read a book where you actually get to follow (can I say) the losing side in a Dystopian Young Adult novel.