New York City is the land of opportunity, and this time, the opportunity was for Helena Coggan to join friends and fans of Candlewick Press in Chelsea for a laser tag book release party that topped the “author dinner” charts.

Penned by 17-year-old Helena Coggan, who flew in all the way from London to celebrate with prospective fans, The Catalyst presents a post apocalyptic world resulting from a dimensional tear in the fabric of the universe. In the fallout of the rip, humans were drawn into an ancient conflict and divided into factions that engaged in all out war against one another. Candlewick Press explains:

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, magical Gifted and the dark-eyed, nonmagical Ashkind. A devastating war followed, and the Gifted have managed a fragile peace ever since, largely through a brutal law enforcement organization known as the Department.

Fifteen-year-old Rose’s father, David, has a leading role in the Department. Rose and David are Gifted, but they are also something else — something terrible. Their lives depend on keeping it secret. But when a mysterious murder threatens to tear Rose’s world apart, forcing long-buried secrets into the open, her loyalties are put to the test. How much does Rose really know about her father’s past? How far is the Department willing to go to maintain order? And, when the time comes, who will Rose choose to protect?

At the party, attendees were treated to a buffet of food and two rounds of laser tag with the author. Given The Catalyst caters to young adults and involves warring factions, it made a lot of sense to cultivate a bit of friendly competition to celebrate the release of the book.

We had a chance to chat briefly with Coggan who explained that the book is one of two volumes exploring the world she created, and in an impressive feat the novel took her less than a year from initial penning to publishing.

All of this, at 17 years of age, flying around the country to promote it. She was an impressive and humble presence at the event, even when it came to laser tag, as she implored all of us “not to shoot her” even as she turned around and victoriously destroyed us in a teens vs. adults round of laser tag.

Needless to say, the party really hit home the author’s bright nature which is no doubt reflected in the pages of her novel. Everyone walked away happy from the event, full of food, exhausted from laser tag, and with a pristine, signed, hardback copy of the book to check out.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming review of the book, and pick up your own copy HERE.

All our thanks to Candlewick Press for extending an invitation to the author dinner.

Leave a Reply