All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Spark – Brigid Kemmerer

on July 5, 2013

SparkSpark (Elementals #2)
Brigid Kemmerer
Kensington Books
2012, 345p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire but his control has always been a bit of a problem. The Merrick brothers are supposed to be lying low after thwarting attempts on Gabriel’s life and those of his brother’s but lying low has never really been Gabriel’s style. Instead Gabriel is angry and he’s looking to lash out.

A fight with his twin Nick means that the two are not on the same page, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Because Nick isn’t around to take his math tests anymore, this combined with a new, sharp teacher means that Gabriel is under suspicion for cheating and he’s been benched from his beloved sports teams until he can prove that he can do the math himself. He finds himself offered help by Layne, a quiet sophomore who doesn’t have many friends. At first Gabriel refuses her help, embarrassed by the fact that he’s so far behind – Nick has been taking his math tests for so long that he can’t remember how long it’s been since he had to work out a problem himself. But as he finds himself drawn to Layne and her family more and more, Gabriel accepts her help.

Attracted by fire, which calls to him to come and play and the power that curses through him when he’s near one, Gabriel finds himself riding along with Hunter to the scenes of housefires that are deliberately lit. Because he cannot be touched by fire, he is able to rescue some people where the fire fighters couldn’t, which leads people to believe that the arsonist is setting these fires out of a desire for a hero complex, in order to stick around and rescue occupants. It doesn’t take long before people start to notice him and even his own family seem to be questioning whether or not he lit the fires. Gabriel knows he should stay away, that he shouldn’t be doing this anymore….but he can’t stop.

It’s been a long time since I read Storm the first novel in the Elementals series. I really enjoyed it and when I was approved for this one on NetGalley, I wanted to wait a while until closer to the release date of the third novel. Then I’m not sure what happened but a long time passed and then I saw this on my kindle the other day and thought hey, I will read this right now. I ended up reading it in almost the one sitting and severely had to question why I had left it so long. The good thing about that? Now the third book is already out so I can go pick that up anytime.

Gabriel Merrick is one angry boy in this book and he seems to be on a self-destructive path. He’s lashing out at the people that care about him and rejecting their attempts to talk to him. Gabriel seems to see a lot of the worst in everyone – it’s obvious his older brother and guardian Michael hasn’t had it easy, raising three boys into adulthood but Gabriel doesn’t do much to cut him some slack. He seems to think that mostly Michael exists to make life difficult for them. Usually Gabriel and Nick are tight but they have a dangerous fight that leads to a long (for them) period of no contact whatsoever so no one really knows what’s going on in Gabriel’s head and why he might be tempted into chasing these fires by Hunter. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what sort of role Hunter was playing here – there was no doubt he was the instigator. He was the one to listen on the scanner and to send Gabriel the addresses of the fires and ride along with him. And of course it ends up being Gabriel in the firing line, arrested on suspicion of setting the fires in order to rescue people from them.

Gabriel and Layne are opposites at first. Layne is quiet, studious, conservative, a bit reclusive. She has wealthy parents but she’s never fitted into the mold of socialite teen and tends to find herself an outcast more often than not, especially as her younger brother Simon is deaf. His different speech leads most people to assume that he’s develomentally retarded and he (and Layne) are both bullied and teased mercilessly about this. Simon is a great basketball player and Gabriel and him bond over shooting hoops which leads Gabriel to witness some of the treatment they experience and seek to try and stop it. Both Gabriel and Layne learn that there’s more to each other than meets the eye – Layne isn’t always so buttoned up and straightlaced and obedient and Gabriel isn’t everything that other people have gossiped about him being as well. I was surprised how much I liked them together, especially after Layne began to loosen up a bit. Gabriel was definitely less volatile around her and she pegged his sharp remarks as defensive pretty easily.

This book has really reiterated the fact that I cannot wait for Michael’s story which will be book 5 I think. I really like all the brothers for their own personalities and quirks but I seem to really like Michael and perhaps that’s because I’m older than all of them really so maybe I more relate to the one playing the parental role than the ones still in school. My least favourite character here happens to be Hunter (which is a little weird, as my eldest son is named Hunter and I’m not used to having negative thoughts about it!) but I am really keen to read his book next and see exactly what his story is and all of his secrets revealed.


Book #168 of 2013


4 responses to “Spark – Brigid Kemmerer

  1. I absolutely love the Elementals series, too! There’s something so compulsively readable about Kemmerer’s work – Although it has been a little while since I read them, I remember devouring both Storm and Spark in a matter of hours. I really want to re-read both books again before tackling Breathless as it has been far too long and my memory is more than a little fuzzy. I do like that the Elementals reads somewhat like a traditional adult romance series in that each book tends to focus heavily on a single couple. It’s relatively unique given my experience with YA and I really enjoy Kemmerer’s approach.

    Great review, as always, Bree! 😀

  2. […] Spark – Brigid Kemmerer ( […]

  3. […] Spark – Brigid Kemmerer ( […]

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