Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Published By: K Teen
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 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.
The fuse is lit…
Wow. Wow wow wow!
Good god, Brigid Kemmerer has done it again! If you've read my review of Storm, the first book of Kemmerer's Elemental series, you would know that I absolutely loved almost every aspect of the Elemental world that Kemmerer had to offer. I adored the characters, had almost no misgivings with the plot and its subsequent twists (I did point out that Storm's biggest plot twist was a tad too predictable, but maybe that's just me)... simply put, I enjoyed Storm. A lot. I didn't think that it was possible for me to enjoy Spark more than I enjoyed Storm (Hey, I can't even count the number of times I squealed and hurriedly flipped through the pages of Storm) but apparently, I was wrong.
I loved Spark. I loved every page of Spark! (I just can't seem to say that enough...) While reading the book, I often felt like I was reading it too slowly - I was that excited to found what the next pages had in store for me. I was practically tearing through Spark's pages like a madman, and I read the book in one go. It was truly an enjoyable read, and no aspect of Spark bored me in any way. Also, it's pretty rare in a series that the second book is as good as the first, so for Spark to be better than Storm is already quite an achievement. Honestly, I think that Spark was even more jam-packed story-wise, action-wise, romance-wise and character-building-wise than Storm was, and I'm not just saying that. I got to learn so much more about Merrick brothers, and as a result, I truly felt invested in all their stories.
I'm not going to lie - I fully expected to pine for Chris and Becca (since they weren't the main characters as they were in Storm) while reading Spark, but Gabriel had me hooked from the first page. I mean, come on, not every character can make you care so early on in the book! Also, Spark allowed us to peek in on Gabriel's innermost thoughts, and let me tell you, Gabriel is one character who has so much depth. His words, actions, and even the things he wanted to say but couldn't, reached out from the pages of the book and tugged at my heartstrings. Reading through the times he ceaselessly thought about what he went through early in life was just painful. Fire, despite being Gabriel's element, has given him a lot of grief, and I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the book wherein Gabriel worked to have complete control over something that has taken so much from him. Furthermore, I also liked how Spark showed how Gabriel interacted with the people in his life - his eldest brother, Michael; his twin and other half, Nick; his youngest brother, Chris; his enemy-turned-friend, Hunter; and of course, Layne.
Let me get this out - I have to commend Brigid for create engaging heroines. Just like Becca, Layne's an amazing character to read about. What she's going through would surely seem familiar to some readers, and her subsequent relationship with Gabriel was fleshed out perfectly. It wasn't rushed; it wasn't forced - as a matter of fact, the development of their feelings towards each other were both gradual and natural. I also loved how Layne's relationship with her younger brother was portrayed. Kemmerer truly has a knack for creating strong family dynamics between her characters!
The friendship between Hunter and Gabriel was beautifully written as well. I felt like Kemmerer was trying to tell readers that though maintaining good relationship with family members is important, it wouldn't hurt to have true friends by your side as well. We can never quite predict just how these people will come into our lives, but sometimes, these are the ones we need to get through life's toughest times. Both Hunter and Gabriel started to depend on each other for support throughout this novel, and I fervently hope that their friendship will be explored in the next book (which is about Hunter).
All in all, I loved Spark. (Wait, I think I said that already...) I consider this book a favorite of mine, most especially since it was THE book to pull me off of that dreadful reading slump. I'm sure some of you noticed that my blog was empty all of last month! Anyway, if you guys haven't checked out Brigid Kemmerer's The Elemental Series, I suggest you do so now. We have a bit of time before the next book in the series comes out, so you all have ample time to catch up!
Rating: 5 Stars