Book Review: Spark

Book Review: SparkSpark by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Series: Sky Chasers #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on July 17th 2012
Pages: 309

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...

Reviews: Glow
* Review and Summary may contain spoilers from previous books of the series.
Read at your own risk *
Glow, the first book in the Sky Chasers series, left me a little puzzled. Loved Ryan's world building and details. But was slightly put off by the overt religious overtones that were questionable, at best, in their inclusion. This left me a bit perplexed about my early feeling for Spark. It is hard to start fresh with a sequel. Having those old torn feelings getting in the way. But I promised myself that I would give this book a real chance, and if it was disappointing, to possibly toss it aside for good.
Spark starts off with a completely different vibe than Glow. Glow was more of a stepping stone type read. Introducing us to characters. Building up that conflict. With a cliffhanger-ish ending to have readers begging for more. Spark took a different approach.
The tale starts off bleak. Seth has been imprisoned for his actions in Glow. Waverly and Kieran are busy having to run the ship without adult assistance. Overnight, almost, the kids had been forced to mature and take on responsibilities that they never imagined having to tackle at such a young age. Because of some of these changes, the characters were much more likable in this sequel. Well, some of them were. Kieran being the odd man out.
Unlike in Glow, the romance element is all but dead in Spark. And I think I prefer it this way. I love me a decent love story, but in Spark, the lack of romance made the other elements shine. Giving the book an extra level of depth that the series needed. That is not to say that all romantic threads are dead. Oh no. There are plenty of issues brewing and then getting mostly resolved. But the focus is much, much less on the romantic element than previously.
Final Verdict:
Spark was not what I was expecting… not in the least. For once, that was a really, really good thing. When I started the book, I could only imagine where Ryan would take the plot, and hope it would all turn out for the best. But now that book two is done, I have feeling that things will only be going up for this series. And if book three continues this trend, the Sky Chaser series may end up being a favorite of mine. I love when a book can turn everything around for the series. Spark did that. Making me one happy reader, who is super glad she decided to give the series another chance.
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