Spark by Rachael Craw: Emily actually reads a sci-fi

Title: sparkSpark

Author: Rachael Craw

Genre: YA sci-fi

Length: 400 pages

Published by: Walker Books Australia

Published on: 1st July 2014

Source: received in exchange for review (thanks, Walker!)


One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.

The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits

This book is filled with action. It’s fast-moving and it didn’t feel too long despite being 400 pages. I mean, I’m a contemporary girl – I’m used to books that are about 300 pages or even less. I don’t read sci-fi…like, ever. Well, hardly ever. But I’ve been presently surprised by the few I have read – goodness, maybe I should read more. I also loved These Broken Stars. 

I’ve found a gif that perfectly sums up this book.

Let’s analyse this gif in detail: we’ve got a potato (no reason behind that, there just is one). The potato represents Evie – she has super-strength since she’s a Shield, but also she can be pretty impatient and rushes into things – sometimes she can’t help it because it’s part of her DNA, but other times I just sighed at her. Big Ben on the right hand side is there for Jamie and Kitty, I suppose, who are both British.

(The ulterior motive to this gif is that I couldn’t stop laughing at it for about seventeen hours)

I loved the friendship between Kitty and Evie. Evie was a fierce friend throughout the whole thing, and this bond between them was really lovely. Because of Evie’s DNA, she’s programmed to try to save Kitty no matter what. So sometimes it was like…


Violently protective, I suppose.

The writing was also really lovely. It flowed nicely and I couldn’t stop reading. I guess that’s what happens when you’re deprived of speculative fiction. It was an interesting reflection on real-world issues of free will versus DNA. Occasionally, though, there were some massive info-dumps – these got better, but at some points I had no idea what was going on.

But that could be because I’m slow, as well.

The idea behind it was so interesting, and the abilities it gave Evie were well-developed and explained. I really liked how Evie discovered her powers – it was at just the right speed. Occasionally I got confused with the difference between Shields, Strays and Sparks but it all came together eventually.

Plus…that ending. I was in a book coma for days after reading this. It raises some very interesting questions, that’s for sure. It actually made me a bit more interesting in science and genetics, something my school teachers haven’t managed to achieve thus far.

Definitely give this one a go – it’s by New Zealand author Rachael Craw, who I interviewed earlier this week, and it’s a really fast-paced, well-written sci-fi.

Rating: 4/5 Wonderkitties


8 thoughts on “Spark by Rachael Craw: Emily actually reads a sci-fi

  1. If you’re getting into sci-fi one great book is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (just don’t see the movie it doesn’t do the book justice).

  2. I think I have just been mesmerised by that gif. It’s very entertaining.
    My school teachers haven’t been able to get me particularly interested in genetics either, no matter how many times we watch the movie GATTACA (I think that’s how it’s spelt). I absolutely love the cover of this book. It’s simple on the outside but really detailed on the inside (if ya get what I’m saying). You should totally start reading more sci-fi books if you liked this one and These Broken Stars! Have you read Across the Universe? You might like that!

    • Isn’t it great?? That was a fantastic gif find. Gattaca…I’ve actually never heard of it. I love the cover, actually – it’s nice and simple. I’m quite a fan of simple covers. Ooooh, I read Across the Universe and quite liked it, actually. Maybe I should read more sci-fi…

      • Oh yeah, Gattaca is actually part of the school curriculum or something, but I think you’re maybe the year ahead of me, and I’m the first year to have face the new curriculum (at least in my state). More sci-fi, more sci-fi!!!!!!

  3. Oh, wow! The cover’s definitely eye-catching and I’m excited for this one! 😀 Friendship is a big plus for me when I read books. I’m curious about all the DNA talk, too. 😛

  4. Pingback: This Week: Camp NaNoWriMo begins and no internet | The Loony Teen Writer

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