Published by Self Published on December 15th, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Personal Copy
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: James
What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley's life might look easy, but she's part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world. Aran Cole hacks code and sells his gaming cheats on the black market. It's barely a living, and one he's not proud of. But when he turns his skills to unlocking the secrets behind Feyland-the most exciting and immersive game on the market-he discovers power and magic beyond his wildest dreams. Spark's mission is clear; pull Aran from the clutches of the fey folk and restore the balance between the worlds. But can she risk her life for someone who refuses to be rescued?
Let's be honest, what guy isn't attracted to a gamer girl? That was the first thing that drew me to SPARK. The second thing was that SPARK revolved around the fey. In my opinion, werewolves and vampires have gotten over used in urban fantasy and paranormal romance, whereas I think the fey are still fresh. Each of those things on their own would've piqued my interest, but Anthea Sharp blended them together to make a truly amazing book.
The premise behind SPARK is that a new virtual reality game is connected the the faerie realm. A small group of gamers called the feyguard are tasked with guarding the gateway so that no faerie sneaks through into the human realm. There isn't anything inherently special about the feyguard though. They are just really good gamers who were selected by the fey elders to be the feyguard. What that means is that they don't have any supernatural powers or even magic outside of the game. Inside the game however they have the abilities of their characters. For example SPARK plays as a kitsune, another fresh supernatural creature, so in game she can play as her character who knows a handful of spells, and she can transform into a fox when needed. While I always enjoy a good supernatural character, it's a nice change of pace to have regular, vanilla humans as the stars of a novel.
These characters are also well crafted and really came to life on the page. I was able to relate well with both main characters and I loved the humor in SPARK. There were a few times when I couldn't quite believe all the things motivating Aran, but not enough to throw me out of the story.
My main complaint about SPARK is the romance. The connection between Spark and Aran is really strong right off the bat, but then they end up taking separate paths which keep them apart for about half the book. Things start to improve by the end, but I felt like their relationship was only just beginning when the book ended. So I hope we'll get to see them a little more in the other books, even though they'll have different main characters.
All in all, the flaws were very minor. I love SPARK. It is a fun novel with a great cast in a really cool setting. I highly recommend it. I'll just add one final warning, Feyguard is the second series in the same universe. Feyland was the original series. However, I haven't read Feyland, but didn't have any problem figuring out what was going on in SPARK.Series Titles:
- The Mad Reviewer 5/5
- If you liked Feyguard try Anthea Sharp's other series, Feyland.