In celebration of the release of Shield, the final book in the Spark series, on September 1st, I am hosting a spotlight on the wonderful Rachael Craw and her amazing YA sci-fi series. Between now and the release date I will be reviewing all the wonderful books in the series, including the 3 novellas. I absolutely love this series and am so excited to be sharing my thoughts with you. If you have not heard of this series, read on to find out just why you need to get your hands on Spark.
Release Date: July 1st 2014.
Publisher: Walker Books Australia.
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis From Goodreads:
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.
4.5 out of 5 stars.
I have so much love for this book. First up, how beautiful is the cover? Stunning, right? I love that the dress is made of DNA strands.
Shortly after Evie goes to live with her aunt, strange things start to happen to her. She feels a zip-zapping up and down her spine, she is filling out, getting stronger and faster. Turns out she has a synthetic gene in her DNA that gives her abilities and determines her path.
Evie is a Shield, a protector, and Kitty, her best friend, is the ‘Spark’ that caused her to change. The problem is that a Stray was set off at the same time, a killer programmed to kill the Spark that caused them to change. Now Evie is bound to protect Kitty from the Stray who will stop at nothing to kill her. But if Evie has any chance of saving her best friend, she must hide from the project that conducted the experiment that made her that way.
I love stories about people that have abilities, and Spark was no exception. It was very well written and I thought it had believable world building. At the beginning of the book there is a lot of information to take in, in a short amount of time. Although it was interesting, it took a bit to wrap my head around it. After all the info is given though, and Evie gets into the job of protecting Kitty, Spark really takes off.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between Evie and Kitty. They were both well rounded characters, and I think both their reactions to the situation they have been put in was realistic.
There were many comical moments scattered throughout that had me laughing out loud, especially when Evie’s need to protect Kitty kicked in.
I loved the romance in Spark. A relationship with Jamie, Kitty’s brother, is forbidden. Evie needs to worry about keeping Kitty safe, not getting distracted. But there is an attraction between him and Evie that is undeniable. Jamie was totally swoon worthy and quickly had me smitten. I loved that the romance was a big part of the book but that Evie and Jamie could still keep their priorities straight.
Overall this was a fantastic, thrilling and action packed YA sci-fi that I could hardly put down. I highly recommend it to those who like Richelle Mead, Veronica Roth and Jessica Shirvington. I can’t wait to get my hands on book 2, Stray, especially after that brilliant twist at the end that I wasn’t expecting at all.
You can add it to your Goodreads here.
I originally posted this review in June 2014 as part of the Spark blog tour. As part of the tour Rachael shared her Spark playlist with me. You can view it here.
RACHAEL CRAW studied Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury but became an English teacher after graduation. Working with teenagers has given her a natural bent towards Young Adult fiction and a desire to present a feisty female protagonist in her writing. Rachael was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, and currently lives in Nelson with her family. Spark is her debut novel.