Title: Spark by Brigit Kemmerer
Published: August 28th, 2012 by K-Teen
Grade rate: A-
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.
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…
I was pleasantly surprised when I read Storm, the first book in the Elemental series (see my review here). When I purchased Spark and was going in with high expectations and I have to say that it did not disappoint.
One of the things that I like more about the series is the characterization. The Merrick brothers are so different and amazing at the same time, but not only that, they are all full of flaws, and many problems and issues and they’ve manage to find a significant other that is equally flawed. I find that this book concentrates more on Gabriel and Layne (pretty name, huh?) that on the rest of the family.
I believe that Gabriel has one of the most difficult elements to manage; it’s not like he can go around setting stuff on fire just for the sake of practicing his control. Not only that, but his element seems to be a mirror image of his personality and most of all his temper. The whole family is not alien to tragedy and heartache, Gabriel blames himself for a lot if what happened and of what continues to happen to his family and he has serious self-esteem issues. It seems like every little thing sets him off and he can’t control his reactions. I am glad that he found Layne and that he found a friend in Hunter and was able to reconcile with his family.
Spark contains more interactions between Gabriel and Hunter and between Gabriel and Michael. Nick and Chris are present, but not as much. The whole family is trying to lay low and not get in trouble in order to escape from the ‘death sentence’ hanging over their heads. I just don’t understand why elementals have to be so dangerous, I honestly thing that they can be of a lot of help, just like what Gabriel was trying to do. They are constantly saving lives and trying to do the right thing. Oh, what is up with people in this school that are always trying to commit rape and are all so nasty? I sure hope that’s not happening in schools all over J
I love the setting of the series, since I live in Maryland and I even know some of the streets mentioned here! The writing is easy to read and straight forward; it portraits the feelings of the characters effortlessly. I can’t wait for the next installment, Spirit, which is Hunter’s story and will be published next May.