By: Melanie | October 6, 2014 | (30) Comments

Review: Spark by Rachael CrawSpark by Rachael Craw
Series: Spark, #1
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 464
Source: Won
Goodreads | Purchase

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.

Here we have a beautiful and badass cover as well as an amazing story beneath it. I dunno about you guys, but THIS IS TOTAL AWESOMENESS.

Spark is a work of science-fiction set in today’s world. Basically, there are these genetic mutations in some people’s DNA that make them have special abilities. Evie is one of those people. Her aunt had it and so did her grandmother, and now, Evie has it as well. She’s a Shield, bound to protect her Spark, which happens to be her best friend, Kitty, from the person who wants and needs her dead—the Stray. The concept was really unique and I was very curious to find out more about this little world within.

A lot of reviewers have made the comparison of this book with Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and I can definitely see why. Vampire Academy showcases two best friends where one of them has to protect the other from the bad guys, in this case there’s only one and that’s the Stray. I loved Kitty and Evie’s friendship and how realistically it was portrayed. Kitty is an independent woman on her own as well and she won’t let herself just agree along with everything Evie and her family says to her. She’s got a mind of her own and I love that she didn’t just act or let herself be treated like a helpless little baby.

I can also see the Rose-Dimitri relationship parallel in Spark. Kitty’s older brother, Jamie, is also a Shield like Evie. There’s basically a ‘forbidden’ romance going on between them for a while because they shouldn’t be together for that would be distracting Evie from her duty to protect Kitty. However, Jamie and Evie have a very rare Synergist bond which basically boosts and amplifies all their mental and physical abilities when near each other. Basically, making them more kick-ass. This is where all the Vampire Academy parallels end, the relationships between these three might be reminiscent of VA, but the plot line and characteristics of these characters are completely different.

My sole complaint lies at the info-dumping. When Evie discovers her true identity, everything is basically dumped onto her, and subsequently, the reader. It took me quite some time to actually understand all the jargon terms and the whole structure of Evie’s world, but I’d say it was worth it.

I do have a tiny quibble, in regards to the length of the book. I honestly just didn’t see why this book was so long. The pacing certainly wavered here and there, and could have saved much more pages by doing so.

Spark is a thrilling ride full of twists and plenty of action. The world Craw built totally fascinated me as did the characters. I definitely recommend this is you’re looking for a good sci-fi.

~Thank you Joy @ Thoughts by J and Walker Books Australia for providing the copy!~

4 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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30 Responses to Review: Spark by Rachael Craw

  1. Special abilities? Say no more. I’m in.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Review: Salt & Storm by Kendall KulperMy Profile

  2. I really hadn’t heard much about this and still haven’t, but this is another positive review to add to some of the others, so thank you, and I’m pleased you enjoyed this. Really need to consider this at some point, whenever that’ll be 😉 Great review Mel! 😀
    Amanda @ Book Badger recently posted…Book Review – The Last OlympianMy Profile

  3. A way cool cover. I like that it has a VA vibe. I will have to add this to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Something Wicked Strikes Day #6: Sweet Unrest by Lisa Maxwell: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway!My Profile

  4. Valerie says:

    I love books that have to do with special abilities, and the cover looks gorgeous!! I might give this a shot! 😀 Thanks for the review Melanie!
    Valerie recently posted…Review: Dangerous GirlsMy Profile

  5. AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR!!! That I’m ashamed to not have read yet *hides* I love the sound of this independent protagonist. I will pick this up. I will (my TBR is not happy). Fantastic review, Mel! <33
    Jess @MyReadingDress recently posted…Let Me Ask You: Why the Triangle of Love?My Profile

  6. Michelle says:

    AWESOME REVIEW, MEL! This book’s cover is so, so gorgeous. My, my! *drools* And the fact that it was really enjoyable? It makes everything a hundred times better and I’m so excited for this! Being compared to Vampire Academy is getting me so pumped and I have a feeling that I’m going to be running to the bookstore this weekend after reading your review, hehe. WE NEED MORE FRIENDSHIP IN BOOKS, PERIOD.
    Michelle recently posted…A Thousand Lives Lived’s Halloween Spookabookish ReadathonMy Profile

  7. Kelly says:

    I loved this one too Mel, and my only complaint was the info dumping as well. I felt a bit overwhelmed. But was glad it scattered the information and descriptions throughout the book as well so I was able to take it all in. One of the things I loved as well was the realistic relationship between Evie and Kitty. It wasn’t all puppies and rainbows, they liked to banter and it felt like that little bit of Aussie / Kiwi trait was slotted in nicely.

    Awesome review poppet <3
    Kelly recently posted…Black Ice by Becca FitzpatrickMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yay! So glad that we agree–it was definitely overwhelming, the world building should have been a little more strung out but it was good, like you said, how they still talked about it so we could understand it even more. Thanks Kels!

  8. I totally passed up the opportunity to review this. >.< I AM SO SILLY. I regret that fiercely now, and it sounds like a fabulous book. Plus the author is uber nice on twitter. I love it when authors just chat with you, flailing about some book or another….it's soooo freakishly cool.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Let The Characters Drive This Book AlreadyMy Profile


    Apart from looking completely fantastic, I think this is something that I’m really going to enjoy. And I keep reading wonderful reviews about it, so that certainly helps! Interestingly enough, this is the first time that I’ve seen it compared to Vampire Academy — though considering that I enjoyed reading those books, that’s just made me more excited for this. 🙂 Great review.
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven NovelsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yes yes, you do Kara! The VA parallels aren’t obvious, and they’re really different, just the relationships reminded me of the ones in VA. Thanks!

  10. Giselle says:

    Oh wow this cover is gorgeous and I don’t think I’ve come across this book before either! I love the sounds of it – books with superpowers and abilities are always a lot of fun, and the comparison with Vampire Academy intrigues me. Though I’m not a fan of knock offs but it sounds like it takes a different direction. And yeah it’s definitely a long one! Glad it was at least worth it though even if it could have been a tad shorter. Great review, honeybuns!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: The Young Elites by Marie LuMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      It is, isn’t it! I couldn’t stop drooling when I saw it. The VA comparisons are only in the relationships, and everything else is totally unique and absolutely worth trying out! Haha that nick name. Love it!

  11. I’m willing to overlook info-bumping in first installments just so long as all of the other elements hit their mark which seems to be the case in this particular instance. Action and twists are totally my style, so thanks for introducing me to this new-to-me author, Melanie!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Paranormal New Releases: October 7thMy Profile

  12. buona says:

    I don’t read much science fiction, but I must say that this is SPARKing my interest! Your quibble on info-dumping is kind of scaring me off, since my brain has a hard time processing non-realistic stuff to begin with!
    buona recently posted…Revew: Landline by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

  13. Alise says:

    I hadn’t heard of this one before but I’m definitely intrigued. The Rose/Dimitri relationship makes me actually want to read it more xD And the friendship aspect is always good. I’m not a huge fan of info-dumping either but agree that it sometimes works. I’d rather have too much info about the world and stuff than not enough, you know? Great review, Melanie 🙂

  14. Yay glad you received and read the book lovely! I agree, there was a lot of info-dumping at the beginning that forced me to put the book down a few times because it got tedious. And the length could definitely have done with a cut, but overall I really enjoyed the concept of the book. I’ve been meaning to review this one for a while now, but I keep forgetting! Glad you liked this Mel xx
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1) by Holly Black & Cassandra ClareMy Profile

  15. Tat cover is amazing!!! And I love the sound of the friendship in here. But info-dumping? Ugh!!!
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #5: Mortal HeartMy Profile

  16. Great review Mel! I’d definitely say the info dumping was what got me about this book as well, but after that big hump was over I really grasped the concept and enjoyed it. I can definitely see the parallels with VA, but would you believe the author hasn’t actually read it yet? Glad you enjoyed it lovely.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Chatterbox: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me TagMy Profile

  17. A bunch of the Aussie bloggers have been raving about this book so I definitely want to check it out! I’d probably have an issue with the info dumping as well so I’d need to read it when I have time to focus! Lovely review Melanie. 😀

    Totally creepy but oh my goodness, I love your new profile picture so much! Okay, it get’s creepier, you’re gorgeous! ♥
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…The Bookshelf TagMy Profile

  18. Pingback: Spark, Rachael Craw – Hooked on New Zealand Books

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