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Review: Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Friday, January 3, 2014


(Sky Chasers #2)
by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Genre: YA post-apocalyptic, sci-fi fantasy, thriller
Hardback: 306 Pages
Publication: July 17, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin


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 is one of the most frustrating books I've read. At the same time, it is so, so good.

Kieran, Waverly, and Seth have all been through hell. Their parents are dead or captured by the New Horizon, and they're desperately trying to survive and get their parents back. To complicate matters, they've all changed since the initial attack. Each of them has trust issues. My feelings about the three kept vacillitating, and they kept frustrating me to no end. I feel for all three of them, but it's so hard watching them undermine each other because of their resentment for what the other represents to them. The three could make a strong team if they were to work together; unfortunately, they work divided.

Of the three narrators (those mentioned in the above paragraph), I think I liked Seth the most in this book. Though he seemed like a cruel person in Glow, Spark really gives his voice a chance to shine. Waverly is less sympathizable for me. While her headstrong, independent nature makes her a charismatic leader, she's like a bull dozer pushing to get her way, and she has no sense of tact or diplomacy. Though she suggests doing certain things for the sake of democracy in the ship, her behavior is like a power-hungry person. Yes, I know she doesn't trust Kieran, but she seems to have become cruel since her experiences on the New Horizon. Kieran too, I feel is estranged, though the end had me warming up to him.

The supporting cast doesn't get much chance to show off because these three are so domineering in their narrations. Still, they're are vibrant and full of life. I especially like Arthur and Tobin, two smart, practical thinkers who don't allow themselves to be especially swayed by a particular leader but trust in their own judgment. None of the characters are perfect, and they all have flaws. Sometimes, many times, they make bad judgments, and I had to remind myself that they're children. On top of that, they've gone through bad times and have major trust issues. They're also very capable of letting their emotions get the better of reason.

Best of all is the plot. I was on the edge of my [virtual] seat the whole time, wondering what new plot twist would be thrown next, wondering how the heck these kids would get out of this new situation safely. And who the heck was responsible for messing with the system? The story is highly suspenseful, dark, and different from all the other YA books out there. I like it.

  1. Glow
  2. Spark
  3. Flame
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4 comments on "Review: Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan"
  1. Wasn't this sooo good. I am really looking forward to The Flame to see how everything all wraps up. Great review, I'm glad that you enjoyed it so much.

    1. Thanks Jenea! Flame is just as good if not better! I'm so happy that the series lived up to my expectations. I've been reading a lot of disappointing conclusions recently~

  2. Read the first one, and fell in love! I can't read your review just yet, because I don't want it to give away anything! But I'll be back when I've had the chance to read it (:


    1. I completely understand the sentiment, Lisa. I hope you enjoy Spark as much as I did! :)


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