Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

A friendly reminder: There might be spoilers for people who haven’t read Glow yet. Read at your own risk. :)

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback, 375 pages
July 17, 2012, Pan Macmillan AU

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...

Source: Charlotte & Pan Macmillan Australia (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

In Glow, I enjoyed reading the thrilling misadventures of the youth of the Empyrean. I was sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping that they would be able to escape safely. In Spark, there was a different kind of thrill in the pages. The aftermath of the New Horizon attack was a ship filled with orphans. It was disastrous from the start and it only got worse as each day passed. Without any adults, the ship was manned with kids who were still anchored to their desires and impulses and less on their logic. It became suspenseful and unexpected. Almost every event made my heart run a marathon.

A big twist happened in Spark: the opposite of Glow took place. It seemed that the characters unraveled, showing their dark sides. Kieran, the oppressed in Glow, was now acting as captain of the ship. However, being a leader brought out the darkness in him. He has changed a lot, willing to lie, deceive and do things just to remain in his position. I guess he was blinded with power. On the other hand, his sermons made him look more and more like Anne Mather that it was creepy. What made me sad was the way he treated Waverly as his enemy. He was so cold to her and in some ways, so mean, too. It seemed that he took on Seth’s personality and Seth – my most hated character in Glow – became Kieran-like. I saw his good side. I realized that he wasn’t so bad after all. I was actually rooting for him.

Waverly continued to drift to the dark side. Her dream world and reality were both plagued by her bloody encounters in the New Horizon. The kids on the Empyrean didn’t help, too. They blamed her for leaving their parents behind in the enemy’s ship. She handled the blame and the pressure well but the guilt was dragging her down. I sympathized with her. I could feel her pain and her burden. I wished that I could go in the book and stand up for her.

The almost empty ship gave off an abandoned, haunted vibe. It was the perfect setting for an unexpected string of events and that was exactly what happened. I loved the twists and turns of his novel. The pain and loss of the characters reached me. I was sucked into their black hole, mentally and emotionally.

An explosion of darkness, pain, revenge, loss and changes, Spark is suspenseful, thrilling and unpredictable. Although not as good as Glow in terms of the pace and the action, it was better in the field of character development and unpredictability. I recommend this to readers who enjoyed Across the Universe by Beth Revis and readers of dystopia, science fiction and suspense.


Also, I was notified a few days ago that Spark is also available in audiobook version from Macmillan audio! Here's a sample:

1 comment:

  1. I'm just reading it right now and I also see the shift to the darker side in "Spark". It's very intriguing to follow the characters we found in the first book to change to much in this one. I was shocked by the end of the book and I clearly shifted my love/hate for the characters!