Review: Spark by Rachael Craw

Friday, 4 September 2015

Spark by Rachael Craw
Released:1st July 2014
Published by: Walker Australia
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Source: Publisher
Pages: 400
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
“You think God has a loophole for people who don’t have a choice?” Jamie shrugs. “Hope so, otherwise we’re screwed.” Evie doesn’t have a choice. One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer. The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere.

All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death. And then there’s Jamie. Irresistible. Off-limits.
Thank you to Walker Books Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The undeniably awesome cover for Spark may have been what initially drew me to this novel, but it is the outstanding plot which cinched the deal. With a concept involving with the intriguing topic of genetic mutations, fair share of action-packed suspense and a romance which adds the cherry on top, after reading this impressive book, I can’t wait to see what Rachael Craw will devise in the sequel.

But I want to cry for him, for me, for the loss of innocence that comes with the blood in our veins. Killers by design.

Set in the present day with a science-fiction twist, Spark definitely has all the details of these genetic mutations down. Evie is a Shield, who needs to protect her Spark Kitty from the Stray who is threatening her friend’s life. With enhanced physical and mental abilities, it comes down to Evie to make sure that Kitty remains safe. Add to the background Affinity, the secret agency who is responsible for the Optimal gene which causes these anomalies and you get an awesome plot which keeps you guessing.

At times all the new language and terms relating to this phenomenon felt a bit hard to keep up with, but I am glad that the backdrop was solidly set to make the whole story plausible. If there’s one thing that’s important in any science fiction novel, it’s making sure that those elements are explained properly, and the author definitely delivered on that. I really enjoyed seeing Evie develop as a character, testing out her new skills and always looking out for the best interests of her friend. She turned out to be a strong protagonist, who didn’t let her budding romance with Jame get in the way of the task at hand.

The action and suspense within the plot were both executed really well. Although it did seem a little slow in parts, by the time I got to the 400 page mark, there were definitely some unexpected twists which made me want to power through it to the end. There were some parts where I was turning the pages so fast I had to go over a few paragraphs again because I just couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next. Evie’s bonds with Miriam and members of the Gallagher family were also tested, and added some realism to a storyline that does have quite a few science fiction elements. In all, I can see how the ending definitely leaves room for book two, and I will be on the edge of my seat with anticipation to see what will unfold next!


Spark drew me in from the very beginning, and is one of my favourite YA science-fiction reads of the year. Rachael Craw has definitely proven herself as an author to watch with this book, and you can bet that I’ll be excitedly waiting to see what happens in ‘Stray’.

This review first appeared on Chasm of Books

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