Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Spark: Legends of the Shifters by J.B. North

Spark: Legends of the Shifters
Author:  J.B. North
Publisher:  Amazon Createspace
Pages: 302
Release Date: April 30th, 2014
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

For more than a decade, Ivy Oliver has lived in a dark, crumbling orphanage where she was sent after her parents’ death. Her only hope for a life of simplicity and happiness is the trial, a test that frees her second form from where it’s been buried since her birth. 

That hope is dashed, however, when she transforms into a creature that rips her away from the only friends she’s ever had and ensures that her enemies are numerous. She is dragged unwillingly to a school that will discipline her in the ways of survival and defense. There, she makes both friend and foe. She discovers things she never knew about her past and her future. This tiny, insignificant girl is faced with a crushing destiny that might be too staggering for her to bear. She will have to abandon her shy, quiet demeanor and take on a fearless spirit if she wants to survive.
Magic, shape-shifting, a little romance and adventure: Spark had all of these elements and then-some, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. While I was a little bummed by the ending (in a good way. You know where you want to take away one of the author's stars because they're a jerk, but you liked it enough you let them keep it?) this book had a great pace and like-able characters. 

One of the things I most liked about this book was the relationships weren't all romantic. I like seeing family love, and friendship, rather than just full on romance. I enjoyed seeing Ivy grow as a character, and while she was pegged as having a powerful second form, it didn't feel too overdone. It wasn't like all of a sudden she was unbeatable and untouchable; she developed as time went on and worked her way into that position. 

There wasn't a huge cliffhanger at the end of this book, but there was enough plot left to keep me wanting more. Most of the characters were dynamic and likable, although maybe Roland could have been fleshed out a bit more. When I got to the last page, I was disappointed it was over, which is always a mark of a good book to me. And what can I say? I'm a sucker for stories with shape-shifters. Especially when we get to have some magic involved.

The ending still sucked. I'm still debating keeping that last star out of spite. Maybe I will forgive the author whenever I read book 2.

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