Title: Spark (Elementals #2)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Kensington (I received an ARC from NetGalley)
Publication Date: August 2012 (Allen & Unwin are publishing Spark in Australia in October 2012)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
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 was excited to read Spark. Gabriel captivated my attention in Storm with his intensity and troubled bad boy vibe. He’s gone though a lot in his life – from having to always be on the look out for people trying to persecute his and his family for being elementals to feeling immense guilt for the way his parents died and not protecting his brothers. Gabriel is one great big ball of teenage angst with one outlet for his rage. Fire. And plus, look how gorgeous the Allen and Unwin cover is!
The element speaks to him. From the vibrations of electrical cables in the walls to the power he can draw from the sun. The energy calls to him and wants him to fully immerse himself in its flames. When Gabriel’s maths teacher finds out that Gabriel can’t manage to do a single equation and his identical twin brother, Nick, impersonates Gabriel on test days, Gabriel goes from getting A’s to failing. That is unless he can manage to get a passing grade on the next test.
Gabriel needs to get himself a tutor and finds on in the form of bookishly shy Layne who for the majority of the time tries to keep to herself just so no one finds out her secret. But Gabriel has secrets of his own and when the town has a string of arson attacks, not even Gabriel’s brothers believe in his innocence .
It makes perfect sense to me that the hot-headed Merrick brother is the one that controls (or is it controlled by?) the element of fire. I was a little worried that Gabriel would be so angsty that I’d be turned off but somehow his attitudes and views just made me like him even more… and want to give the boy a hug. Layne was a character that I started off really disliking. I know not all character can (or should) be strong independent women but on first impressions I was not a fan. And now that I’ve finished reading the book I realize that why she may not be a character that I liked she was perfect for Gabriel. I think he needs a calming influence in his life and by the end I appreciated how she balanced him out.
One of my favourite parts of this novel was the relationships between the brothers. I like how they interact with each other. Things are complicated and messy but beneath everything you can tell just how much they care for each other. The new romantic relationships that the other brothers are embarking on are great to read too. I’d love to know more about Michael’s relationship but I’m wondering if it would be more suited to a novella.
I can not wait to read the next novel in the series, Spirit.
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