...Sparks is entertaining, engaging, and well worth a read for any fantasy and YA fans out there....
With plague in his village Lark has no choice when a traveller offers to take him away for the price of a cure for his ailing mother. Rokan looks for those with unique abilities to serve the kingdom, and Lark can read thoughts.
I was caught up in this from the first page, and found Lark’s training fascinating. Avis with his secrets, the sense of a wider world outside the school half seen, all give a feeling of time moving as the tale is told. A sign this is a good book? My Kindle crashed while reading it and I was actually angry that it would take time to reboot to keep going.
The writing and world-building is incredible and even Lark’s home village comes to life on the page, a small town we are never going to see again. The characters come to life, and there is real doubt over who will live and who will die. The politics and scheming are fascinating, and the twists unpredictable, although there is one plothole that is never called out: despite knowing that mindreaders exist, Lark keeps telling secrets to someone with no protection from them. Despite overall excellent writing I was really annoyed by the only misplaced typo I spotted because it was right at the climax: “site” for “sight” on loc 3762.
One extra thing is that despite being part one, this is a complete story. The plots are wrapped up, the main story complete and a few things in place for a sequel, but this is definitely a novel in its own right.
The bonus material is an extra chapter from the sequel. To my mind it isn’t as strong as the first book, but I can’t go into why without spoiling it. Let’s just say that the complex character of Lark appears to have been massively simplified and become rather selfish. And an idiot. (“Let me block my girlfriend from my thoughts so she isn’t traumatised by my memories of horrible events she witnessed first hand from closer than I did…”) It is a rare case where I’d be more likely to buy the second book if I hadn’t read the sample chapter.
Ignoring the sample chapter, Sparks is entertaining, engaging, and well worth a read for any fantasy fans out there. YA readers my also appreciate it.Rating: 4
Reviewed on: 2016-12-22
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