Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: Spark by Evan Angler

Spark (Swipe Series)
By Evan Angler
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: Nov. 5, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

In a future United States under the power of a charismatic leader, everyone gets the Mark at age thirteen. The Mark lets citizen shop, go to school, and even get medical care—but without it, you're on your own. Few refuse to get the Mark. Those who do . . . disappear.

Parents are looking for fiction that makes Christianity exciting for kids. This series is an alternative to the Hunger Games series and other dark dystopian fiction. It’s packed with action and intrigue, but the message is written from a Christian worldview. 
Logan Langly went to get his Mark but backed out at the last minute. Ever since, he’s been on the run from government agents and on a quest to find his sister Lily, who disappeared when she went to get her Mark five years ago. His journey leads him to 

befriend the Dust, a network of Markless who oppose the iron-grip rule of the government. On the way to the capital to find Lily, the Dust receive some startling information from the Markless community, warning that humanity is now entering the End of Days.

Spark introduces nine-year-old Ali, a beggar living in the Dark Lands city of al-Balat. Ali meets a stranger who gives her his tablet, a portal to a tech world that Ali never knew existed. But one day, the tablet begins to communicate back to her—and takes her on a journey that will cross her path with exiled Logan Langly, Chancellor Cylis, and the fierce battle for power that spans reality and the virtual world.

Book Links

My Thoughts:
Spark is a unique dystopian action/thriller, loosely based on the book of Revelation from the Bible. The novel is not overtly religious and some may wonder whether it is a Christian novel or not as there is little talk about God in it and unless you are familiar with the end times story from the book of Revelation, you may not recognize the parallel.

 Spark is the fourth book in a planned six book series. I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series in order to fully understand the the whole story. While there is a forward by the author that summarizes what has gone on before the current book, it cannot due justice to actually reading the books themselves and knowing the characters and locations. In any event, the main character in Spark, Ali is a new one to the cast in the Swipe Series.

Spark is book 4 of the Swipe Series and introduces Ali, a beggar living in the Dark Lands city of al-Balat. Ali is one of the Markless and the Union wants her because she has the ability to control technology, though how, she doesn’t know. Not only that, but it talks to her.

While this book was designed for children and teens, adults will be interested in reading it as well. The author has put a lot of thought into what might be possible for technology to do in the future. This book is very creative and unique and was a very interesting read. I did not read the series from the beginning, and I think I would have enjoyed the book much more had I started from book one. Even so, I did enjoy it.

I thought the way Nico encouraged Ali to take his “help” was brilliant. Never was it forced. She did it all of her own free will. Sadly, that was all her own fault (you’ll have to read the book to find out what I’m talking about otherwise I’d be spoiling it for you).

I gave this book 3 stars out of 5. This is a good, clean thriller that most young people will enjoy if they like dystopian fiction.

Thank you to the publishers Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Evan Angler is safe, for now. He lives without the Mark, evading DOME and writing in the shadows of Beacon. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about him. Don’t make eye contact if you see him. Don’t call his name out loud. He’s in enough trouble already. And so are you, if you read his books.

Author Links
Website  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

Books in the Swipes Series:

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