Spark by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Sky Chasers, Book 2

Synopsis: Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems…Kieran’s leadership methods have raised Seth’s hackles— and Waverly’s suspicions. Is this really her fiancé? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth’s. But if Seth is Kieran’s Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?

In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean—shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon—and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As the tension reaches a boiling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away—or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts… every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end…

Review: The previous book, Glow was excellent so I was eager to find out what happened to all those teenagers of the Empyrean after the terrible attack of the New Horizon. And I must say I was not disappointed as this volume is as good as the previous one.

Thanks to Waverly, the girls are back on board of the Empyrean. We might expect that there would be a semblance of calm in the ship but it’s not the case. Indeed, the attack of the New Horizon and the sad events that followed are still present in the minds and the parents who survived are always Anne Mather’s prisoners. Kieran tries to maintain the relative calm and the crew in high spirits with prayers and sermons but in vain. He loses his credibility. Furthermore several incidents that threaten the security of the ship occur and then there’s Seth…

Like the first book, the story is told in the third person singular. So we find this alternation of points of view which the author had accustomed us but this time Seth’s POV is added to Kieran’s and Waverly’s POV.

Waverly is traumatized by what happened aboard the New Horizon. Moreover, she feels terribly guilty and the other girls, especially the younger ones, don’t stop reproach her lot of things. So here we have a more fragile heroine, ill at ease but at the same time, she remains strong and determined. She is a girl who has endured horrible things and has demonstrated a lot of bravery to get out and despite all she has endured, she continues to fight. Kieran meanwhile is the captain of the ship. It’s a position with great responsibilities and unfortunately he is not always up to the task. His lack of experience weakens and serves him badly. Then he is traumatized by what Seth did to him (see Book 1). He is so afraid that this happens again to the point that he takes the wrong decisions and makes bad choices, directing the anger of other members of the Empyrean against him, including Waverly who doesn’t recognize anymore. The two young people are no longer on the same wave-length and it was sad to see them get there.

Seth however surprised me. Ha has become less impulsive, more thoughtful. Having his point of view here is a good thing because it allows us to understand and to know him better. He too has made mistakes, terrible mistakes but he is desperately trying to redeem himself. He is more serene than before and I must say I loved this new Seth. He gives in Spark a much better impression than in the first book and suddenly I found him very cute.

The maturity of these adolescents was striking enough in Glow but it is more in Spark. They are alone, left to themselves. They have to take important decisions without any adult to supervise them. Some manage to do it like Tobin but for others however it is more difficult. Amy Kathleen Ryan has done a superb job with the psychology of her characters: they are complex and it was very interesting to see each of them evolve in either the right or the wrong way. Like the first book, we can find this tense and claustrophobic atmosphere throughout the novel and I would say it is even more intense here. It boils beneath the surface and we have the constant feeling that the situation could explode at any moment. The story holds your breath and the suspense is almost unbearable. There are some revelations about the past shared by the two ships. We discover some things about the conflict between the Empyrean and the New Horizon but there are still some blurred areas and it will take a little longer to clarify all the grey areas.

To conclude Spark is an excellent sequel. This novel ends on a terrible cliffhanger and now I can’t wait to read the third book.

5mon pseudo

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