Book Review: Spark by Rachael Craw

20950716Title: Spark

Author: Rachael Craw

Format/Length: Paperback/464 pages

Publisher/Date Published: July 1st 2014/Walker Books Australia

Category/Genre: Young Adult/Science-Fiction

Source: Library — clearly I have the best library ever

Goodreads | Amazon | Bookworld

Description: 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 stars —

★★★★☆

Bluntly put, I am a harsh reviewer — so when I actually rate a book four or five stars (a very rare thing) I sincerely think it’s a fantastic book. I had already been expecting good things from this; I had seen a lot of highly rated reviews of this one, so when I saw this at my library, I nabbed it, expecting a fantastic read.

Which is exactly what I got.

I stayed up to about 2:50 in the morning (thank gosh I’ve just finished school, otherwise I would have been comatose the next day…) and I usually don’t stay up late for books unless  it’s really good. At the moment, I’m very “meh” about these sorts of sci fi — not because I don’t like them, but because I feel like I haven’t come across many ones I’ve enjoyed. But I’m seriously going to have to consider changing my status on sci fi books without a dystopia element, because I was truly blown away at how much I enjoyed this.

Needless to say, I was very impressed with Rachael Craw’s début novel.

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This is not just a science fiction novel — this is about friendship, and family.

I’ve seen a couple of reviews that liken this novel to Vampire Academy, because the strong theme of friendship presented in Spark. That was one of my favourite things about Vampire Academy — Lissa and Rose’s relationship carried the novel and I felt a similarly awesome thing happening between Evie and Kitty. (Minus the whole vampire thing.)

Let’s talk parents in YA.

You know when you read a novel, YA mainly, and you have to wonder where the parents are? This can apply to pretty much all genres (but not all circumstances) in which I believe that parents are highly underrated in YA novels. (Am I the only one bothered by this?!) And okay, this might not be true in every case, but the high majority of parents I know actually care what their kid is getting up to. But usually in YA fiction they’re always absent because of work, and have to work conveniently overtime when the climax of the novel appears. Not in Spark. And I think that’s where Spark differs from other YA books — the families of the characters in Spark play a vital role in both maintaining the storyline, and creating excellent tension and entertainment between the characters.

What I loved especially was that even though Spark was a fairly long novel, it flew by.

I found myself turning the pages desperately in order to find out what would happen next . . . hence why I stayed up so late reading Spark. I’ve heard some people complain at the first hundred or so pages were a little dull, and while I can understand where those people were coming from — it wasn’t a issue with me. I devoured this novel in a couple of days, and when I was done, was left with that feeling of wanting more. And quickly.

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Rachael Craw also manages to craft a realistic, and ship-able (that’s a word, right?) romance that had me cheering for Jamie and Evie the entire time.

Romance, in my humble opinion, can either be done rightly or wrongly — and I think much of that comes from personal opinion and years’ worth of reading Young Adult novels. Some YA authors do it well. Some don’t. Rachael Craw, thankfully, hit the nail on the head with Jamie and Evie’s relationship. And well. It does help that Jamie was portrayed as being gorgeous.

If you’re looking for some pretty kick-ass characters, thrilling (and unpredictable) plot, and swoon-worthy romance, then this is the book for you.

All in all, Spark is the fantastic introduction to a trilogy I’m really looking forward to completing!

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12 thoughts on “Book Review: Spark by Rachael Craw

  1. YAY I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT TOO!!! I was a bit dubious at first because I loooove superheroes and I get so tired when they’re super cliche, but this one just seemed SO unique! And I loved Jamie and Evie. I just wish Kitty had been more of a THING, because friendships are awesome in books and I don’t find enough of them.
    Shipable is totally a word. *nods*

  2. Rachael Craw used some pretty clever language in this book, and colourful descriptions. I liked the dialogue and the pace of the book, and could really see it spinning along like a movie in my head. Can’t wait for the next book!

  3. AWWW I’M GLAD YOU LIKED THIS ONE! I’ve yet to read it (because I’m terrible with reading from Aus/NZ authors. I get distracted by all the shiny releases) but I’m definitely going to get to this one. Swoon worthy romance, did you say? That’s a definite plus for me! Fantastic review, Kara! x

  4. Okay. Everything you just said has convinced me that I need this book EVEN MORE THAN I HAVE EVER NEEDED IT. I really wish I had a copy, because I just want to start reading it ASAP. I planned on buying this on its release day, but there were too many other books I wanted to buy, boo. Hopefully I’ll win a copy in a giveaway that I’ve entered. :) Thanks for a wonderful review, Kara. :)

  5. Great to see that you loved this one too Kara! Sometimes YA novels on the ‘longer’ side can tend to drag on, but in this case like you said the pages just flew on by. I can’t wait for the sequel either – and if it’s anything like the first book it’s going to be amazing :) Fabulous review <3

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