I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sparks by R.S. McCoy
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"Everyone in the world has a Spark, a light inside that guides them, keeps them alive.”
Myxini School for Children specializes in training young men and women who have powerful Sparks. Strikers are taught to manipulate fire. Trackers learn to find animals in the most formidable terrains. Handlers are instructed in communication with large predators. But forty years have passed since the last time they had a Reader – a student with the ability to read minds.
When Lark Davies enrolls at Myxini, he knows there aren’t many like him, but he doesn’t realize just how rare his abilities really are. He thinks nothing of being asked to keep his Spark a secret; after all, he can barely control it. Thoughts and emotions flood unbidden into his mind until he can scarcely walk or hold a conversation. But just when he needs it most, his ability fails him.
Lark meets Khea, a small frightened girl who mysteriously incites his protective nature. He has no explanation for the curious strength of their relationship, and it doesn’t help that she is one of the few people in the world whose thoughts can’t be read. As he struggles to get to the root of their unique bond, Lark begins to unravel more power than even his mentor expected, but in the process makes himself a target to political leaders eager to take control.
In Sparks, people have a special spark or supernatural ability. Two main characters, Lark and Khea travel to the Myxini School to learn about and hone their sparks. However, they soon learn there is more to the school’s leaders than it first appears.
This is a really solid, tight fantasy. The “sparks” are interesting, varied, and really well thought out. character-wise, I really loved both Lark and Khea, and they are good souls who are deeply developed. They have a great and realistic romance that goes through the novel, and its really great to follow along as they learn more about their world, their abilities, and each other. There are a great supporting cast of characters and friends that we follow throughout the story. The antagonists really stay in the background for most of the novel and don’t feature prominently until near the end.
The pacing was pretty good here and I never felt myself getting bored. It was an easy read and one I wanted to keep constantly reading until I was done.
I wasn’t super happy with the ending as I would say it is bitter-sweet. But perhaps it is more realistic. I look forward to seeing how Lark and Khea progress in the next novel (Spirits).
This is a YA-novel but there is a handful of profanity occurrences so probably best for the upper-YA crowd.