Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Waverly and Kieran are finally reunited on the Empyrean. Kieran has led the boys safely up to this point, and now that the girls are back, their mission seems slightly less impossible: to chase down the New Horizon, and save their parents from the enemy ship. But nothing is truly as it seems . . . Kieran's leadership methods have raised Seth's hackles - and Waverly's suspicions. Is this really her fiance? The handsome, loving boy she was torn from just a short time before? More and more, she finds her thoughts aligned with Seth's. But if Seth is Kieran's Enemy No. 1, what does that make her?
In one night, a strange explosion rocks the Empyrean - shooting them off course and delaying their pursuit of the New Horizon - and Seth is mysteriously released from the brig. Seth is the most obvious suspect for the explosion, and Waverly the most obvious suspect for releasing him. As tension reaches a boling point, will Seth be able to find the true culprit before Kieran locks them both away - or worse? Will Waverly follow her heart, even if it puts lives at risk? With the balance of power precarious and the clock ticking, every decision counts . . . every step brings them closer to a new beginning, or a sudden end . . .
A big thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me a review copy of this book!
Last year in my review I gave Amy Kathleen Ryan's debut and the first installment of the Sky Chasers series, Glow, two stars and I have to say it wasn't my favourite book in the sci-fi and YA genre. Or rather . . . not at all. But since there were many others who had shared similar opinions as me in regards to the first book and since there were still many other readers who had actually highly praised the sequel in improving and being far more entertaining than the first book, I decided against my better judgement and gave this series another go, and in the end I'm really glad that I did because boy oh boy . . . it sure changed my mind on a big, big level!
In the next sequel of the Sky Chasers series, SPARK, it picks up right after Glow had left off at. With Waverly and the other girls just barely escaping the sinister ship of the New Horizon, they soon find themselves returning to Empyrean, where Kieran is now in command of the ship and where Seth, someone Waverly deeply cares about, is now imprisoned in the brigs. Upon Waverly's arrival and on top of everything else that is going on, she is considered a traitor and is being blamed for not returning with everyone else's parents, and one crazy moment after another, including an incident where explosions are set off and Seth is released under unusual circumstances, Waverly must determine how to prove Seth's innocence as well as keeping everyone else in the ship safe . . . by all means possible.
Unlike what I had experienced from the first book, SPARK was amazing right from the very beginning and I was so surprised by this feeling that I'd gotten as I kept reading this book because I had zero expectations. Absolutely zero. Though, despite these judgments of mine, I did secretly hope this sequel would change my mind - about the storyline, about the characters, about the pacing and basically everything else in this series - and that it did. The author, Amy Kathleen Ryan, wrote the sequel with a much better attitude than she did with Glow this time round since the pacing was faster, there was far more action to suck me back into the storyline, and most importantly, there was way more character development which blew me away. In all honesty, I really loved this book and it goes to show that you shouldn't stop a series until you read its sequel, because the author can and will surprise you in many ways, and can make you eat up your own words in the end. So way a go for this author in doing that to me!
When it came to the characters, especially with the main ones, I really liked Waverly, Kieran and Seth, and all of the faults they may have possessed. For our main heroine, Waverly, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the girl especially since how everyone seemed to be treating her lately . . . almost like a criminal when really . . . she was the ultimate hero among all of them. I remember how I felt about Waverly in the first book and I didn't fully connect with her like I wanted to, however in this sequel there was so much more to love about her - all because she had much more development in her character and we finally got to see her strengths that I'm sure was there all along and I just couldn't see. For one thing, she stood up for herself (about time girl!) and at certain moments in the book she even went up against Kieran (really against him and his bullying ways) which made my eyes bulge out and feel wowed by her! I mean going against the likes of Kieran is like wishing for a death sentence, so again, way a go author for making Waverly of all people do that in the book.
Regarding the two boys of the story, that being Kieran and Seth, it's easy to justify them and their actions, and whose team I'm really rooting for. With Kieran, like with how most readers view him, he was never ever a favourite character of mine and I don't think he will ever be one with the way he's going right now. That character . . . man . . . he needs a beaten sometime soon because he was ridiculous and just stupid. So let's forget about Kieran at the moment and just focus on Seth alone, the boy we ALL want to talk about. Am I right, readers? Yup, I'm right. When it comes to our boy Seth, he is absolutely my favourite character in this entire series and he continues to impress me each and every time he comes onto the page. There's just something about him that gets under my skin (in a good way of course) and his strength is simply amazing . . . it just matches Waverly's so perfectly and it's no wonder why I love them being together!
Overall, SPARK surprised me SO much and I would recommend this book in a heartbeat, even if you were like me and didn't fall hard for the first book, Glow. Trust me when I say this: This sequel was such an amazing installment and I'm really, really looking forward to seeing how everything will end in the last book of the series which I hope is just as amazing as this one!