A review by Amanda.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review, and I would like to thank author Kate Corcino for the opportunity to review Spark Rising.
This book begins two hundred years after a cataclysm rocked the world. Electricity went out all over the world and something called Dust seemed to be the cause, although no one really knew what Dust was. Citizens were moved to “temporary” relocation centers for their protection, the Council of Nine was formed, and everything changed.
Lena Gracey is a Spark; a human with the ability to communicate with Dust and manipulate electricity. Sparks are considered a valuable commodity to the Council, to be used for the betterment of mankind. Cities have grown from the original relocation centers and citizens are allowed electricity in rations, electricity that is provided by hard working Sparks. Children are tested at five years old for any Spark abilities and those who pass are sent to Council-run schools to be trained to serve the government. According to the men of the Council, powerful female Sparks do not exist – and they work hard to maintain that position. Girls who show the potential to be strong Sparks disappear under suspicious circumstances. Lena’s family fakes her death to protect her from this fate and she is raised in hiding. At fifteen, she is forced to run and fend for herself outside of the city walls. Nine years later, Lena is discovered by Alex Reyes, a double agent who wants to destroy the system from the inside.
Spark Rising intrigued me from the start. I am a fan of post-apocalyptic stories in general and this had a unique premise that kept me interested. Lena comes across as cynical and independent in the beginning, but subsequent emotional blows cause her to doubt herself and everything that she’s believed in. She doesn’t know who to trust and though she enjoys sex, she has a certain innocence when it comes to matters of the heart. At her core, Lena is lonely. It doesn’t diminish her strength but adds depth to her character. There is a love triangle in play, which is overdone, but the majority of focus stays on Lena, and her newfound mission to find out what happens to the girls taken by the Council. In addition to Lena, there are several well-rounded characters to adore. Alex plays a large role in recruiting Lena to the rebellion. He’s a serious man, older and sexy, dedicated to his work, and it is fun to see Lena bring out his softer side. Jackson is a soldier in the rebellion, closer to Lena’s age, with hopes of moving up in the ranks. He’s charming, adorable, and no less attractive for his youth.
My only issue with this book is that the pace of the story felt choppy in the beginning; the plot seemed rushed in places that caused some confusion and some spots dragged in longer than seemed necessary. The pace smoothed out eventually and the story found its groove. I am excited to continue this series!
Rating: 4/5 stars.
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All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising.
Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls—those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power—don’t exist. Not according to the Council.
Lena Gracey died as a child, mourned publicly by parents desperate to keep her from the Council. She was raised in hiding until she fled the relo-city for solitary freedom in the desert. Lena lives off the grid, selling her power on the black market.
Agent Alex Reyes was honed into a calculating weapon at the Ward School to do the Council’s dirty work. But Alex lives a double life. He’s leading the next generation of agents in a secret revolution to destroy those in power from within.
The life Lena built to escape her past ends the day Alex arrives looking for a renegade Spark.
Kate Corcino is a reformed shy girl who found her voice (and uses it…a lot). She believes in magic, coffee, Starburst candies, genre fiction, descriptive profanity, and cackling over wine with good friends. A recovering Dr. Pepper addict, she knows the only addiction worth feeding is the one that follows the “click-whooooosh” of a new story settling into her brain.
She also believes in the transformative power of screwing up and second chances. Cheers to works-in-progress of the literary and lifelong variety!
She is currently gearing up for publication of Ignition Point and Spark Rising , the first books in the Progenitor Saga, a near future dystopian adventure series with romantic elements, science, magic, and plenty of action.
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