(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Spark #1
on 1st July 2014
Booktopia • Book Depository • Angus and Robertson
Evie doesn’t have a choice.
One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.
The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.
And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits
Sci-fi isn’t usually my kind of thing but Spark looked interesting and I am so glad I gave it a go. This book is fantastic. There’s action and romance with moral dilemmas and all sorts of secrets behind the scenes. Evie’s transition from regular teenage girl to suped up genetic protector could have gotten confusing. There’s a bit of jargon and acronyms but it is all explained so well with the reader is learning about this world and Evie’s role in it alongside her.
To break it down for you, due to some DNA altering and the introduction of synthetic genes, there are now some people who are born with certain abilities and powers. We now have Sparks, Shields and Strays. Sparks are civilians who trigger the Shields and Strays. Once triggered a Shield is compelled to protect the Spark from the Stray who is similarly urge to eliminate the Spark. The Strays aren’t necessarily bad people but the trigger for them manifests itself as psychotic delusions and causes extreme homicidal feelings for the Spark. The Shields and Strays are both stronger, faster and taller than regular civilians with assorted powers. It’s all very intense and trust me – Rachael Craw explains it so much better in the book than I ever could but you get the general idea.
Evie’s first ever Spark is her best friend Kitty – and that brings its own set of complications. Along with trying to understand what is happening to her, Evie has to cope with the need to make sure Kitty is okay. And then there’s Kitty’s brother – Jamie.
I have something to confess. I can’t stand the name Jamie. It makes me cringe a little (I’m sorry if you’re reading this and you are a Jamie. I’m sure you’re lovely). And as a testament to the writing – despite his name, I really liked Jamie thought this name was a great choice for him. He’s the kind of guy that you wouldn’t want to cross and the way the romance developed over the course of the novel was great to read. Despite them being a perfect match their interactions aren’t perfect. They still had to work for the relationship and Jamie had to make up from the history by the river.
The action in Spark is really exciting. Evie is learning to be kick-arse though a combination of her training as well as her super gene learning. There are times when it seems that Evie is the most special of all the Shields but there is reason behind that which is explained. She’s confused and there is confusion surrounding much of what is happening to her BUT this book is never confusing to read. The reader is always right there beside Evie learning about her world and her new place in it as Evie figures it all out. There’s a bit of a mystery as to who the Stray is and some drama surrounding the mysterious Affinity group who are responsible for the Shields/Strays in the first place. I wanted to know more about how The Affinity run things but there is always the chance that this secret organization will be explored more in book 2. The supporting characters are interesting with all of them having their own stuff going on. They have their own agendas and priorities and what I liked is that sometimes it is in direct opposition to Evie. It’s great to see the parents have a role and not just be written out because its easier.
After reading Spark – I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series. Secrets, Sparks, Shields, Strays, other Affinity goodness. And of course, more Jamie and Evie interactions! Action, mysterious organizations and a dash of romance – I think this book would appeal to fans of books with strong female main characters in a world with a bit of an edge like Divergent by Veronica Roth and Delirium by Lauren Oliver.
Thanks to Walker Books Australia for the review copy
And if you liked my review, be sure to come back tomorrow to read my Q&A with the author of Spark, Rachael Craw!