Thursday 30 December 2010

Review: SPARKS

Sparks by Laura Bickle
Anya Kalinczyk book 2

Genre: urban fantasy

About Sparks:
Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.

After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.
Source: Info in the About Sparks was taken from the author's website at on 28/11/2010.

My Thoughts:
I think this book is better than the first one. For one, this book is pacier than Embers. Also, the female protagonist seems less stupid this time around therefore less irritating to read. And that to me is a huge plus :) The book still retains the fabulous story telling quality. And I like it that I get to read more about Sparky. Sparky being my favouritest in Embers. But having said that, I now have a new character favourite... Guess who?! Oh, yeah, Death!! Man! Can this author spin a nice touch on Death! Can you believe it?! Well, you just gotta read the book then ;) ... If this trend of every succeeding book becoming better than the last one continues, then I think this is going to be a fantastic series indeed!!

But I did wonder though, does Death only hang around in Detroit, USA? So how about the souls from the rest of the world? Nobody looks after them? Or is there more than one Death? This hasn't been well explained in the book... So I chose to believe that Death doesn't really hang around in Detroit only. And that Death only made it seem to Anya like he can be found at the morgue to make the thought of him more "digestible" to Anya's mind. Anya's brain is having difficulty processing all the supernatural trouble going on already as it is without making it even more complicated.

Another element which I think made this book/series so good is it's authenticity factor. The story has such an authentic feel to it that as a reader I can easily connect with the characters and the world of Anya Kalinczyk. And I can also very easily suspend disbelief. Let me quote a line a character had said:
"After a few centuries, they tend to develop a personality of their own."
That to me is a logical thing to happen. Something which I can honestly believe could happen. As opposed to just saying something like, it happened just because it's magic, and leave it at that ...and besides, the idea of a "Princess Kerberus" tickles me pink! ;)

Story Telling Quality = 4
Character Development = 4.5
Story = 4
Ending = 4.5
World Building = 5
Cover Art = 4.5
Pace = 4.5
Authrnticity Factor = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

Buy Link:

Other Book(s) In The Series:

My review of Embers is HERE.

I would like to thank Juno Books for the free eARC of this book received! And thank you also to disney for hosting a contest which made it possible for me to get my hands on a copy of this book from the winnings!


  1. Death is there :D Oh now I got happy, I blame Terry pratchett, lol

  2. I have the first one on my tbr. I need to get this one as well! Better than the first. Yep, need it. :)

  3. Great review! I agree, this one was much better than bk1, I loved it =D


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