Spark Rising by Kate Corcino
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**
4 ½ stars!
When Lena Gracey welcomed Alex Reyes into her “home” – an old, abandoned gas station that she has made her own – she never thought how drastically he could really change her life. To her, he was just another customer that needed to utilize her “Spark” – her ability to talk to the Dust and bend it to her will. But seeing as Lena shouldn’t exist, she has to be careful about whom she welcomes into her home – and she should be extra careful of Alex. Especially seeing as he is secretly an undercover agent from the city of Azcon – to the Council of Nine that oversees everything, even if it’s illegal or unlawful. But seeing as she’s a woman, a Spark, and she’s been able to hide herself for the last twenty years, it’s about time for Lena’s number to be up – and Alex will be exactly the man to serve her with it. Except Alex is not who he seems to be…while he works for the Councilor Three (who oversees the third district), he has also been working with a secret organization along with the School of Wards (where little Sparks come to learn how to use their big Sparks) to bring down the Council. Alex and his counterpart Thomas don’t like how the Sparks are treated and how they are exploited for their abilities. And they believe that Lena is the beginning of that change – but getting her to trust them is the tricky part.
However, when Lena ends up seeing how terrible the Council truly is, and upon their part in her mother’s death – right in front of her – she ends up with no choice but to trust the one person she was deceived by from the start, Agent Alex Reyes. She knows that she has been discovered and rather than run and hid, Lena chooses to stay and fight – or rather to stay with Alex, Thomas, and their school, learning how to harness her gift and starts teaching some of the others how to do things they never dreamed of, such as healing injuries, causing momentary paralysis, and how to kill without touching a hair on their heads. As her relationship with Alex reaching a pinnacle and pivotal point, just in time for a huge mission that will make or break their current agency, the two don’t know whether they should hold tight to each other or push each other as far away as possible. But their decision could very well be the make or break it mark for their mission and their agency.
All I can say is BOOM – the Spark. Goes. Boom! I LOVED how strong and intelligent Lena was – she was a power house from the first page. And Alex is strong, smart, and he tries his best for his fellow Sparks. He truly wants what is best for the Sparks, even if it means his life is on the line. And when the two strong personalities come together, that Spark is bound to combust. They have a common goal, a common thought process, and are perfect for each other, but just feel the need to continue to put others first, before their own feelings. While some of the dialog was slightly confusing in some places (particularly where the characters are “talking to themselves”), I found the story completely interesting and I was totally engrossed from the beginning to the end. I think the story was imaginative, creative, and a great example of a stellar sc-fi/ paranormal genre book. I am looking forward to seeing what else is come in Lena and Alex’s “Spark” of a story!