[REVIEW] Spark – Amy Kathleen Ryan

Amy Kathleen Ryan
Spark (Sky Chasers, Book 2)
Macmillan (US: 17th July 2012; AU: 1st August 2012; UK: 2nd August 2012)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Behold: a trilogy with a middle book that doesn’t dip in quality compared to Book 1. Straight off the bat, you’ve got to give the author points for that.

What I love most about the Sky Chasers series is the setting: a generational spaceship on the way to a new planet. Also, the rival spaceship, and the space between. Love it, fascinated with it, want more of it. Book 3 can’t come soon enough.

And life inside the Empyrean and the New Horizon involves conflict upon conflict, and all this tension forms an awesome page-turner.

But here’s where things get difficult: I really don’t like the main characters. They piss me off so much. Which I guess is better than “meh” characters to whom I feel indifferent, but still – annoying characters downgrade what would have otherwise been a five-star read. Kieran is power-hungry and Waverly is trigger-happy, and Seth’s more of a plot device so he doesn’t really have a personality.

Kieran Alden is acting Captain, and still trying to push religion upon the Empyrean’s residents. He’s a real pain in the arse until after the elections, when he matures preparing for peace talks with the New Horizon. Here we come to understand Kieran and appreciate his efforts, because as a leader he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. His decisions aren’t popular, even if they’re the right ones.

Waverly Marshall is one pissed-off special snowflake, convinced that Kieran is a dictator and she’s the one to call an end to his regime. She leads the push for elections and gets on the Command Council. But plans for a bloodless coup to retrieve the parents from New Horizon go astray when it’s clear Waverly has violence in mind. It’s hard to remember she’s on the side of good when she gets such a kick out of torturing suspected terrorists. Waverly would’ve loved working at Guantanamo Bay.

P.S. One character remarks that stalking isn’t creepy “if you’re doing it for a good reason”. I laughed my arse off at that. How wrong he is…

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