Sunday, August 19, 2012

Spark: Elementals 2 by Brigid Kemmerer

Published:; August 28th, 2012
Publisher: Kteen
Pages: 432
ecopy: Courtesy of publisher and Netgalley
Summary: Goodreads

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

Spark is smokin', in more ways than one.  Four hot brothers, four budding romances and an arsonist.  Is it Gabriel, the brother who can control the element of fire? No it's not, but I'm not telling who it is.  And I didn't even have a glimmer of a guess until almost the end of the book.  My initial suspicions were waaay off - not even close.

Unfortunately I have not read the first title in this Elementals series: Storm, and I really wish I had.  Not that it was difficult to follow along at all - Ms Kemmerer did a very good job of filling in some back story where needed, but this book was all about Gabriel.  As the first book appears to have been all about Chris the youngest brother, my not reading it did not seem to impact my enjoyment of Spark. 

Gabriel is hurting.  He's suffering from a major case of guilt and his actions make him appear like the logical choice for the arsonist.  His anger and frustration seemed genuine, and while I've never understood the teenage males' propensity for violence, my son tells me it rang true. (I've always been more of a 'use your words' kind of person.)  Layne is a fragile girl, who hides her beauty behind her brains, and tries never to stand out.  There is a very disturbing scene of teen bullying, that to my mind fully illustrated some of the negative things that are going on in high schools today.  In fact there are several such scenes, but again, my son tells me that's what happens.  They were each integral to the story, and helped to illustrate the types of people we are dealing with in the story.

Spark is one of those tales where you are almost sure you know what is going to happen, but the getting there is all the fun.  Gabriel, Nick, Chris and Michael are very convincing as brothers and Layne, Quinn, Becca and Hannah were all wonderful in their own way.  Yes, Spark is romantic, but it's the tension over the fires that will keep you reading.  It is a fun, exciting paranormal mystery and I for one will be back for more.

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