Saturday, 18 August 2012

Review: Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Spark (Sky Chasers #2) by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: August 2nd 2012
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Waverly, Kieran and Seth are in a race against time – and with the future of humanity hanging in the balance, there’s no room for mistakes…

After a desperate escape from the enemy ship, Waverly has finally made it back to the Empyrean. The memory of home has been keeping her alive for the past months… but home is nothing like she left it. Forced to leave their captive parents behind on the New Horizon, she’s returned only to find that Kieran has become a strict leader and turned the crew against Seth. What happened to the Kieran she thought she knew? Now Waverly’s not sure whom she can trust. And the one person she wants to believe in is darkly brilliant Seth, the ship’s supposed enemy. Waverly knows that the situation will only get worse until they can rescue their parents – but how?

Before they have time to make a plan, an explosion rocks the Empyrean, and Seth and Waverly are targeted as the prime suspects. Can they find the true culprit before Kieran locks them away… or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? Now more than ever, every step could bring them closer to a new beginning – or a sudden end.
(from Goodreads)

*Remember I told you more of those ridiculously long reviews were coming? Yeah, this is another one. I apologise in advance :P*

Spark was a great addition to the Sky Chasers series, and I’m really intrigued by where this series is going. I can’t for the life of me guess what will happen in the third book!

Waverly and the rest of the girls were back on the Empyrean in this book after escaping from the New Horizon. However, not everyone was happy with the way Waverly handled things during the journey back. A lot of the kids blamed her for leaving their parents behind, and were treating her with contempt (fuelled by Kieran, but more on that later). I felt so bad for Waverly, because really, there was little she could have done. She was wounded and had no time to save everyone – in fact, the only reason all the girls were alive was because of Waverly, and yet some of them still treated her like crap. She felt guilty, but she did the best she could. I think she actually handled the criticism she got quite well, and didn’t let it get in the way of what she wanted – she was smart and capable enough to organise things herself. I’m also glad she wanted to help Seth, and didn’t believe that he was working with the saboteur on the ship, because at least it showed not everyone was being manipulated by Kieran’s lies. However, she was dealing with other things, and not just the people on the ship. She felt sick every time she remembered the man she killed in self-defence and she seemed to become more withdrawn. After the horrible things that happened to her on the New Horizon, I could understand why she was slowly breaking. Her emotions were in turmoil, she wanted to torture the people who used her and wanted to kill Anne Mather herself. We saw a much darker side of Waverly in Spark, which I actually appreciated, because you can’t expect someone to go through what Waverly did and remain unchanged. She blamed Anne Mather for making her mind “twisted” and it was interesting to see the way her thinking changed from the first book.

Seth actually had his own POV in this book, which I loved because now we got to see from Waverly, Kieran and Seth’s perspectives and it was definitely interesting to see how they all perceived things differently. I liked Seth in the first book, but I think I liked him even more in Spark. He had such a sad backstory and he knew that he had done things wrong when he tried to take control of the Empyrean, but he did genuinely seem to want to help the ship as much as he could. Even though he knew Kieran would throw him in the brig and lock him up with no trial if he got caught, Seth still tried to warn Kieran about the things he found out (though Kieran ignored him half the time), risking his life at times. He was also just...I don’t know. He seemed softer somehow, but still hardened on the inside. He loved Waverly, and had for a long time, but never told her and kept telling himself that he wasn’t good enough for her, that he could never have her no matter what. So he did everything he did, knowing that he could never be with her. I felt sorry for him, especially since I think he and Waverly would be much better together than she and Kieran ever were. But he was also smart and a lot of the time I couldn’t work out what he was thinking or what he was going to do next. I wish we had more of Seth’s POV because he was such a complex character that figuring him completely will take a lot of time!

Kieran, oh my God. I disliked him in the first book but now it’s turned into full-blown hate. I hated him in this book. Legitimately hated him. He made me so angry, I just could not stand his arrogance and idiocy and hypocrisy. He was just an idiot who never, ever listened to anyone else, always believed himself to be right and hated to be questioned by others. He actually said to Waverly, “If you ever loved me you should believe me without question.” That sickened me, it actually did. So Waverly couldn’t be with him because she wouldn’t obey his every word? What the hell! Just who did he think he was! He also tried extremely hard to make it compulsory for everyone to believe what he believed, and if they didn’t, they’d be punished. He really was starting to become some kind of sick cult leader with no tolerance for free thinking, becoming more and more like Anne Mather every day. And not only that, but he was turning into some power-hungry dictator! He lied so many times just to keep up appearances, claiming that Seth was working with ship’s saboteur even though he knew this wasn’t true, he withheld information because he thought he was the only one who needed to deal with it, he tried to go against the elections for a Council and he tried to overrule the law. All he seemed to care about was not looking like a fool, which must have been hard for him, seeing as he was one. And worst of all, Kieran used a NINE year old, innocent little boy, for his own deceptive means. A NINE YEAR OLD CHILD, all because he was paranoid. And then he tried to blame what happened to that child on someone else, even though he was ENTIRELY responsible. He loved to blame other people for his own shortcomings, the deluded moron. He was just so detestable, I don’t understand how anyone can like or defend him. He turned on his own allies – for example, Arthur (a character I liked a lot, because he was always so reasonable), who asked him some legitimate, logical questions that of course Kieran couldn’t answer because he was an imbecile who didn’t think anything through. And then though he acted so hatefully, he expected complete loyalty from his followers who he often treated like crap. I just didn’t understand him. Going around calling his followers the “true believers” as if everyone else had committed the greatest kind of sin, throwing an innocent girl in the brig with no trial, merely for speaking her mind, acting like no-one should dare defy his authority – honestly. I commend Amy Kathleen Ryan for bringing out this emotion in me, because I don’t think I expected to hate him so much. The sheer fact that I do (and that the longest paragraph in this review is about him) is actually quite impressive. I can’t think of one good thing to say about him, other than he managed to keep the ship running, so was an adequate leader. That’s about it.

The plot was great because I couldn’t guess what was going to happen at all. I had no idea who the saboteur (who had messed with the ships thrusters at the beginning) was and I didn’t know what Anne Mather really wanted. I did figure some things out along the way, but it was a good mystery throughout. Plus, the ending! There was a nice build up, and I could feel the tension – my stomach was churning as I turned the pages. I did not expect what happened. I have no idea what Seth’s plan is – just what is he up to? Can’t wait to find out in the next book.

Overall, Spark was a great sequel and I would definitely recommend this series to sci-fi fans and people who like darker YA. I’m looking forward to book three!


  1. I actually really enjoy your long reviews. It's like sitting and talking to you about the book. Unfortunately it's not quite as fun if I haven't read the book. As is the case with this series. But judging by your thoughts I probably should.

  2. Fab review as always! You know, I wasn't a fan of Glow, like at all, but surprisingly this sequel changed my overall opinion of the series, which I guess is a really good thing. Can't wait for the third book now!

  3. I think you wrote at least three reviews worth just on Kieran LOL! Have I mentioned before that I LOVE how passionate you get? I know I have, but I'm saying it again. Kieran sounds like a complete ass. Your reasons for hating him sound totally justified and I've no doubt I'll feel similarly.

    Seth, on the other hand, I am so warming to! I'm a sucker for a sad backstory and he genuinely seems like a good guy. I love that this kept you guessing and the suspense had you on edge at the end. Spark seems like SUCH a fantastic sequel, that I desperately need to get my hands on Glow soon!

    Me likey a good spoonful of sci-fi. Nom nom. Awesome review!

  4. I agree with Brodie when it comes to Kieran and Seth. It's just so amazing how the author can make me hate Seth in Glow and love him in Spark, vice versa for Kieran. Spark is definitely darker but somehow more exciting. Great review!


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