Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: Spark

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer 
Release: August, 28 2012
Source: e-ARC from publisher

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

First off, I love Gabriel, and there's probably a million reasons why.

1. He's hot.
2. He's funny.
4. He doesn't sugar coat things.
6. He's very temperamental and that makes him incredibly flawed and awesome.
7. Did I mention he's hot?

These are all things that I knew when reading the first installment in The Elemental Series, Storm. I didn't expect myself to like him even more, but I did! Basically, Spark starts off where Storm ends. The four Merrick brothers are trying to "lay low" and avoid attracting attention. Problem is, Gabriel has a knack for drawing attention to himself. And it's not always his fault.

I know I said it before, but all four brothers are so amazing and incredibly characterized. Flawed to the core, but still equally amazing, I couldn't help but sympathize with each and every one of them. Especially Gabriel, who is confused and unable to "bask in his element", fire.

And then there's Gabriel's relationship with Layne.

I think if you read my review for Storm, I complained that I didn't connect with Becca as much as I did the brothers. Layne, however, is a girl I admire so much. I connected with her on a level that really surprised me! In a lot of ways she reminds me of myself, with her quiet and bookish ways. She's no wallflower, though. She has her own dreams and aspirations and she can kick butt. There's a lot of determination buried under that seemingly nonchalant exterior of Layne that makes me smile.

If I had one complaint to make, however, it would be the pace. Brigid's Storm was packed with non-stop action, and the same can be said for Spark. I felt, however, that the "highs and lows" of the plot made for a rather...bumpy read, if you know what I mean. The outbursts, arguments, and violence in Storm seemed better placed and more thought out than in Spark. Or maybe it's because Gabriel's not exactly a "calm" person, like Chris. Perhaps that has to do with the rigid pacing.

Either way, I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book. The wait for Spirit, Hunter's story, will be agonizing and painful. *sigh*


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