Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: 201
Goodreads Rating: 4.29 stars
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Content Rating: PG-13? (Not much more than kissing)
In the second book in this series, we got to know Gabriel, Chris’ broody and often surly older brother. I loved getting to know a new member of the Merrick family!
I’m not going to describe much about the plot because the synopsis does a pretty good job of that. Instead, I’ll just get right to what I did and didn’t like.
What I wasn’t crazy about:
- The repetition. Because I read this book so soon after I read book one in the series, some of the things that I LOVED in the first book came off as being a little repetitious in this book. For instance, the book once again deals with bullying and once again involved bullying with a sexual theme – Just like in the first book, I thought that these issues were handled in an exemplary manner. My only problem is that I had a slight feeling of “didn’t I just read this in the last book?”
- Layne’s secret. I had a little bit of a hard time understanding how Layne could have kept her secret from everyone for so many years. I don’t want to go into any detail at all because I don’t want to spoil it, but I’ll just say that I had to suspend disbelief on this one.
What I loved:
- Gabriel and Layne. I really loved both of the main characters in this book. Gabriel is definitely a bad boy, but since the book is told from both his and Layne’s perspectives, we get to see the inner turmoil and lack of self-confidence that sits behind his bad attitude. Gabriel doesn’t feel like he can win in life – he can’t do anything right – and sometimes he takes that out on those around him. Seeing the world through Gabe’s eyes made him a very sympathetic character instead of just a jerk. On the other side of things, Layne was an incredibly likable character, but she also had flaws. Because of her secret, she had never really let anyone in and she wasn’t about to start with Gabriel. I loved their relationship!
- Family relationships. As intriguing as the romance was in this book, I thought that the family relationships were possibly even better. I really felt for Gabriel when he felt cut off from his brothers, especially his twin. I felt like the family dynamic was incredibly layered and realistic – these brothers who love each other and want to take care of each other, but also want to kill each other sometimes!! Gabriel feels like a black sheep and he blames himself for the loss of his parents. Then there is Layne, who has a really special relationship with her deaf brother and is torn between protecting him and letting him go out on his own. Layne’s relationship with her parents is also extremely complex (although I thought that Layne’s mother was perhaps a little bit too one-dimensional).
- The story. Once again, Kemmerer gives us a fast-paced, exciting novel with lots of paranormal action and a central mystery. She is obviously amazing at writing books with both heart and suspense.
I definitely enjoyed Spark. I think that any Kemmerer fan will be thoroughly happy with this installment in the Elemental Series. I can’t wait to read Hunter’s story in the next book! 4/5 Stars.