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
OMG. The first thing you see. The cover. I. Love. The. Cover. I mean, just look at that photoshop mastery. If I ever write a book, I am so calling this artist to do my cover. Because. Seriously. Look at it. But on another point, not only is the cover kick-ass, the whole story is kick-ass too.
It’s hard to believe that this is Rachael Craw’s debut novel, because she writes like she’s been writing novels for years and years. There is so much detail and so much descriptive language. I’ll cover more of that later. Another distinctive feature of her writing is her metaphors and similes. Like, they are everywhere. Literally, everywhere. You cannot go three sentences without seeing a metaphor. Don’t get me wrong, though. This is amazing. Like, the writing flows so well, it never feels stilted or snagged. It’s almost like reading a really really really long poem. With dialogue. And genetically altered teenage girls whose ginormous boobs grow at uber fast rates. Yeah. More on that later.
First off, the detail in the writing. It is just amazing. You wanna know the colour of the cupboards? You got it. You don’t wanna know the colour, feel and smell of his naked skin? Too bad, coz you got it. The type of trees in the corner? Done. The shoes she’s wearing? Done. The detail in the story brings so much depth to the novel, because as every reader knows. detail = makes the novel feel real.
Another great Craw feature. Metaphors and similes. You know how your teachers are always saying, use more metaphors, be more descriptive, more similes! Well, I think Craw’s editor either modelled his/her advice off his primary school teacher’s, or Craw herself writes like this already (I’m gunning for the former).
The characters themselves are great. There’s the main character, Evie. There’s the forbidden love interest, Jamie. There’s the person that links them, Kitty. There’s the mentor, Miriam. And, of course, there’s the villain, who I won’t reveal because it’s a major spoiler.
Evie is a great character. When the gene mutates in her body, she gets speedy, strong, lightning quick reactions and precognition. There’s a few problems I have with her.
1) She also gets hot. Because apparently, the gene only chooses people who are naturally smart, strong and pretty. And so when the gene reveals itself, she grows to supermodel height, boys are more attracted to her, and her boobs explode. Not literally. Just, she wakes up one day and BAM she has massive mammaries. I found this a little superficial. Like, “pretty” is boobs and height? That’s a little shallow.
2) Also, she faints a lot. Like, when she’s not fighting or training or pashing, she’s the swooning damsel in distress. Actually, she faints when she kisses Jamie. Which gets pretty annoying.
Jamie is the typical, handsome, muscly, forbidden love interest. Of course, they end up getting together against the wishes of everybody who knows them. Duh. Great idea.
The plot was great. It was so refreshingly different. Of course, I’ve read the whole “DNA changed by scientists” thread hundreds of times, but I’ve never read anything with protectors and attackers. So basically, there’s this group of people who messed with the DNA of a few people, and these people passed the gene on through generations. There’s sparks, people who trigger reactions from shields (people built to protect sparks) and strays (people built to kill sparks). That’s 500 pages in 2 sentences.
Alright, back to negatives (bah!). There were a few chapters, maybe 2 or 3 chapters close to the start of the book, where everything is explained to Evie, and in turn, to the reader. Now, that in itself isn’t a bad thing, but when you get 3 chapters of continuous dialogue (actually it’s not even really dialogue because it’s basically just one person talking). And there’s a lot of information, a lot of acronyms and terms that we’ve never heard before, as the reader, and it’s a lot to take in. Like. A. Lot. There’s just so so much information given over 2 chapters, that I had to go back because I just didn’t understand some parts of the book sometimes, later on. But that’s basically my biggest flaw that I found in Spark.
All in all, though, Spark was a great, engrossing novel that really grabbed my interest and held me in my seat until I finished the book. I solemnly vow to read the sequels (It’s part of a trilogy and the second book comes out September 2015 *squeeeee*).
Spark is out now. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: Spark
- Author: Rachael Craw
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books Australia (July 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1459688910
- URL: Author’s Website