Evie doesn’t have a choice.
One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.
The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.
And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.
Firstly, this cover is amazing. The colours and the design work really well together, and it’s quite a unique book cover for a young adult/fantasy novel. And I love the book even more for that.
The premise of this novel is immediately engaging. Evie is trying to deal with the death of her mother AND her DNA-bound responsibility to save Kitty, who happens to be her best friend. She develops enhanced abilities that help her defend Kitty. A few examples of this are: her hearing improves, she can see inside someone’s mind and replay their memories, and she can heal. She’s a strong character and she’s determined and bold and compassionate and very likeable.
The concept behind the story was interesting. Because of DNA manipulation from earlier generations, Evie ‘sparked’ and became a shield to Kitty, who is being hunted by a ‘Stray’, aka someone who was also a victim of the DNA manipulation and is destined to murder. I feel like this kind of storyline hasn’t been done yet in a YA setting. And YES, this novel is probably considered to be a fantasy/science fiction novel BEFORE being considered a YA novel, but let’s face it, it’s half-half. And I definitely haven’t yet read a YA novel with any kind of similar premise.
That being said, it took about 50 pages for me to get into the storyline, mostly because I was confused as hell and I really couldn’t work out the DNA thing or the Spark thing or the anything, really. Maybe there was too much description too early on? Or maybe there was one tiny sentence I missed and therefore it took a lot longer for me to understand anything? Either way, it took some time for me to engage with the story, but when I did I couldn’t stop reading the novel and now I must get the next novel in the series, Stray (which also has a stunning cover, by the way. My respect goes to the designer who made these covers).
The romance between Evie and Jamie is well-developed. Jamie is both protective and loving, and the relationship in this novel doesn’t overpower the main storyline. This book is very plot-driven, but the budding relationship between Evie and James works well to provide readers with a momentary break from the fast-paced plot.
I recommend this book to YA and fantasy readers. Spark is a mix of both genres, and once you grasp the concept behind the series, you’ll devour it in one sitting.
My Score: 8/10