Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Spark

Spark (Sky Chasers, book 2)
By Amy Kathleen Ryan
Expected publication July 17, 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin

WARNING: This is the second book in a series; as a result, there will be spoilers for book one. If you'd like to read my review of the first book, go here.

Kieran, Waverly and Seth's lives are radically different because of the experiences they've undergone aboard the Empyrean - in fact, things will never be the same among the three of them. But that doesn't stop them from having a common goal: catch up to the New Horizon and rescue their parents. But, you know what they say about the best laid plans...

So, if you read my previous review, you'll know that, while I enjoyed the first book, I didn't feel overwhelmed with desire to read the second. However, while I was at Midwinter, I went to a publisher preview and they mentioned that the second book (this one) would be coming out this summer. And I became excited and overwhelmed with desire to read it NOW. Sadly, they did not have any ARCs at the booth (I stopped by after the preview), but a lovely representative (I can't remember her name) took my information and promised to send me a copy if she could. And she did! I was thrilled when the book arrived in my mailbox.

I think the first book was one that stuck with me long after reading, so, even though I didn't feel compelled to read the second immediately after finishing the first, I remembered how much I enjoyed it and was excited to discover the second would be out not terribly long after. I started the book with great anticipation: would I be as excited the whole way through?

I have to admit that this started much more slowly for me. I didn't become completely engrossed. And that stayed pretty much the same the whole way through. This book is no less exciting than the first novel but, I guess, it lost some of its magic for me. Don't get me wrong: this is still a very complex and interesting read, with a well-developed and unqiue backstory and characters that are complex, frustrating and lovable. But, for me, the compulsion to keep reading just wasn't there. I wanted to be completely sucked into the battle between the Empyrean and the New Horizon but I just wasn't. I will definitely still plan on reading the next book because I just have to know how this dreadful situation is going to be resolved. And I do enjoy the direction that Ryan has taken some of the characters, creating deeper storylines with more difficult emotions and actions. But for other characters, I didn't totally believe in the path she had chosen for them.

Overall, this was a decent read, but not as strong as the first entry in the series. I hope things pick up in the next book, but I still think this is a great series to recommend to sci-fi fans.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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