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Spark – Amy Kathleen Ryan

02 Jun

Spark coverSpark
By: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Sky Chasers – Book 2
Available July 2012

Have you seen my review of Glow, the first book in this series? Be aware that there are spoilers if you haven’t read the first book.

Description:
Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end…

This Blonde’s Review:
The trauma of the attack on the Empyrean has changed the teens left behind. Waverly is an outcast, blamed for not succeeding in rescuing their parents. Seth is locked in solitary confinement with no end in sight. Kieran is struggling to keep his fear of losing control from becoming obvious.

When strange things start happening around the Empyrean, including an explosion and Seth’s release, people are quick to place the blame at Seth’s door. Since we read this story alternating between Waverly, Kieran, and Seth’s point of view we know that Seth had nothing to do with it.

Waverly feels guilty for leaving the parents on the New Horizon and allows the other kids to treat her like she did something wrong. I can understand the guilt, but I have a hard time accepting that the girl who was so willing to fight to save the others has become this pathetic girl now. I had high hopes for her desire to fight and survive. For her to have been willing to stand up to everyone on the New Horizon and then to hide away the way she does is difficult to respect.

Kieran has turned into someone who craves control and power and will use religion to get it. There don’t seem to be any characters in this book who don’t use religion as a control tactic except the ones who are presented as nothing more than blind followers. I’m not a religious person, but I would have hoped to have a balance. It’s hard to hope for good things for a character we were supposed to like in the first book when that’s what he’s turned into.

Seth has turned around and accepted that he responded badly in the past while the others have deteriorated more. Seth was a character we loved to hate in the first book, but in this one he’s turned into one of the few characters I can actually like. He’s wiling to risk his freedom and safety, as well as face his fears, in order to attempt to figure out where the danger on the Empyrean is coming from.

I don’t know how I felt about this one. I had a hard time caring about Waverly or Kieran. I connected better with Seth and a few secondary characters that aren’t set up to be the ones we should care about most. Having our feelings towards our main three characters flip so completely is something most authors wouldn’t do, so I like it in theory, but I don’t know where the author is really going with this.

I do like that the author didn’t leave a bunch of kids on their own and let everything continue peacefully. She left off the first book with them being able to come together thanks to Kieran’s church services, but in the second book that all deteriorates. I like that she didn’t expect us to believe that a group of teenagers and children would hold it together without anger and fear threatening to tear it all apart.

I started to lose interest in this story but the author threw an interesting twist in the story there at the end. I know I’ll be reading the next book in this series to find out what happens next.

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