Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: YA

It's Raining Men! 2012 Challenge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Says: Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

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.

The fuse is lit…

I think this is definitely my favorite book in the Elemental series AND Gabriel Merrick is my favorite of the Merrick brothers.

Gabriel is the most troubled of the Merrick brothers. He has a lot of guilt to work through and out of all his brothers is the one who feels most isolated. The guilt he carries is huge and not over nothing. He starts stuff up all the time as a defense mechanism and it almost always has a way of turning explosive each time. Not sure if it’s the reason he is fire or if fire is the reason he is the way he is. Spark is Gabriel’s story and how he begins to get a grip on his baggage as well as the element that seems to fuel most of his anger.

In my eyes this was the best written book in the entire series. This had all of the characteristics that drew me in while reading the prequel, Elemental.

This book was full of action, contained some of the rawest feelings I’ve ever read but best of all we as readers finally get a better understanding of the relationship between the elements and the elemental.

Some of my pet peeves in Storm were the lack of focus on the Merrick brothers and the fact that the use of the elements had yet to be fleshed out. Spark was all about Gabriel and his element. We get to see how he communicates with his element and how difficult it is to control the element. They might be powerful Elementals but one thing that needs to be understood is that the elements are still much more powerful. It was great to see Gabriel in action and learning things about the element of fire alongside with him.

There is a love interest in this book (duh, I know) and it was very real and natural. I think it was great to see the connection between Gabriel and Layne. Talk about opposites attracts yet more alike than you think! It was nice to see this develop in the way that it did. There’s definitely more of a balance in this book between their alternating pov’s AND there were NO LOVE TRIANGLES.
Seriously, there is no need for it. Great stories love triangles do not make. :-)

Another plus for the book… We get to see Michael trying to build a relationship with Gabriel. It’s been pretty hard for Michael raising 3 kids on his own, he being a kid himself. Michael was 18 when crap happened and he had to step up and keep his family together. The fact that his brothers don’t make things easy all the time has taken a toll on him. We get to really appreciate Michael even more in this book and all he is trying to accomplish.

I had only two complaints about the book.

1.Although Michael and Gabriel try to work on their brotherhood, it is still left as a work in progress. It doesn’t really feel like anything’s been solved or like those loose ends have been tied. Can we tie some knots? Can we feel really happy??...About something. Not sure how long the series is going to be but so far we are on book 2 but really book 4 if we include the novellas and the relationship between these brothers seem so fragile, toxic and volatile. Although there are times when you see everyone getting along they are far and in between.

2.The cryptic crap between Hunter and Becca’s dad was way too cryptic at this point. I can’t say much more than that other than I really don’t trust Hunter AND I’m not sure why the next book in the series is his book instead of one of the other brothers. If anyone wants to let me in on the details then please do.

With that said, I’m still a fan folks! I really enjoyed reading this book. As usual, I can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope some happiness is found in the very near future for my Merrick bros. They deserve to just be.

ARC provided by Kensington via NetGalley.


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