Monday, October 15, 2012
Book Shelf: Spark (Elemental #2) by Brigid Kemmerer
Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.
Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.
More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance.
Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own. Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.
The fuse is lit...
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Spark is the sizzling follow up to Brigid Kemmerer’s debut novel Storm and does not disappoint with its electric romance and exciting action!
After the brilliance that was the first book, I was so excited to have the chance to dive back into this series. The first book was amazing, and in my eyes this one was equally so---for the same reasons and more! Brigid Kemmerer delights one again with her world of Elementals with the high stakes action blending together with high school drama and a tangle of emotion.
My goodness is Brigid a talented writer! She blew us all away in Storm, and she once again shows us she’s not lacking in her humour and expert writing in Spark. Weaving together a novel full of action, romance and passion, the fabulous dialogue and humour found in Spark balance a perfectly planned story of the paranormal and with issues facing teens today. I think one of the most interesting things about this series is that Brigid looks at the whole picture. Her characters are largely flawed but with each book Kemmerer explores the why behind this. And there’s always a reason. Not shying away in any sense, Kemmerer looks at harsh issues like bullying and the effects it has on its victims. There’s so much emotion and raw vulnerability found in each book.
As tension continues to skyrocket for the Merrick brothers, the stakes are higher than ever as they embark on the next stage of the journey Brigid Kemmerer has them on. Kicking off right where Storm, left off Spark features Gabriel Merrick, the hot head of the family who often acts before he thinks. One of the best things about Gabriel’s characterisation is that he really is his element. Brigid Kemmerer writes Gabriel so that he truly personifies his element. He encompasses everything fire is; he’s passionate, explosive, fiery, volatile but he’s also so much more. So, SO much more. If you thought you knew Gabriel Merrick in Storm, I’ve got news for you....you don’t!
I was actually quite surprised to discover how much Gabriel struggles with his element, more so than any of his brothers. There’s a fire in him, both literally and metaphorically, that he can’t always control and this guarantees him a lot of trouble throughout the course of Spark. Gabriel struggles an awful lot with guilt over his parent’s deaths and finds himself not good enough over many aspects of his life. One again, this surprised me about Gabriel. In the previous book he appeared so cocky, and sure of himself, however throughout the course of this book we discover how much of a facade this is and glimpse the true pain and anguish he hides. Pain and aguish Gabriel so masterfully manages to hide from this loved ones with sarcasm and bad behaviour.
With a series of arson attacks in town making his brothers question if he’s behind them and his twin Nick following in Chris’s footsteps and finding romance of his own, Gabriel feels more alone than ever. And then along comes Layne Forrest; brainy, shy, quite happy to fly under the radar and the last person Gabriel expects to connect with, but he does......
Layne Forrest isn’t like other girls. With a painful history and a parentless home life, Layne is scarred both inside and out. She’s happy to hide behind her clothes and her books, but when Gabriel Merrick needs her help Layne’s acts without thinking, soon realizing that he isn’t the heartless jock she thought him to be. Layne was a wonderful character to follow in Spark and she certainly wasn’t the shy, quiet person she appeared on the outside; rather a strong, independent young woman who stood up for, and took care of, her younger brother Simon. Once more Kemmerer writes Layne beautifully, with her vulnerabilities perfectly emphasisable and understandable; her insecurities something that as a reader you can understand and feel.
Amazingly Gabriel and Layne were a perfect match! Considering their histories and the fires that played a part, these two connected beautifully. I think it was terribly smart of Brigid to write in their histories and give them something truly substantial to connect over. Here are two individuals who couldn’t appear any different on the outside; a jock and a brainiac, and yet who share such similar insecurities and pains that the bond that develops between them burns so bright it’s undeniable. Their romance develops steadily over time, and is both endearing and electric. These two are too perfect for words!
Despite the amazing idea of Elementals that Kemmerer has thought up, the main driving point that makes series so special is the four brothers it focuses on and the bond they share. They have such a complicated history and their relationships are turbulent at times, but Michael, Gabriel, Nick and Chris share such a great family dynamic throughout both books. Their brotherly relationship is one I’ve loved from the very beginning and it was wonderfully to see Brigid explore it in such a real way with brothers bonding and struggling too. I loved seeing Michael and Gabriel share so many sweet moments in this book and though he may not be a Merrick brother by blood, the friendship that Gabriel struck up with Hunter during Spark also tugged on my heartstrings.
Both mystery and romance feature heavily in this book as Kemmerer races her characters through danger after danger that will leave you breathless with it’s intensity and wondering just what on earth is going to happen next!
Source: Sent for review by Allen & Unwin (Thank you Lara!)
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Recommendation: This book is one you don't want to miss!
Cover: Awesome--the AU covers in this series are epic.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Absolutley!