There are times when Heather & I finish a book, but don’t have time to write a full, comprehensive review… or even a shorter “flashbulb” review. BUT we still want to share our thoughts with you on what we’ve been reading. That’s why every Saturday we’ll be featuring 2 “snippet” reviews — short, sweet, to-the-point reviews that we’ll try to keep to 2-7 sentences. So we hope you enjoy these!!
Once again, brevity appears to have escaped us. Oh well. <wink>
It’s been almost a year and a half since Lane left without warning for Paris, and in the interim Katharine has flourished in her role as caretaker of both Stranwyne and her Uncle Tully, proving herself more than capable. But when it becomes clear that her beloved uncle and his brilliant creations are not safe from either the British and the French, Katharine is forced uproot her new life and to take drastic measures to ensure the safety and the well-being of the uncle she’s come to love so dearly.
I’m not sure I can fully convey how much I love Katharine Tulman, but she is definitely among my absolute, all-time favorite heroines. The development of her character by Sharon Cameron is fantastic as Katharine begins as the ill-treated, somewhat embittered orphan who is only interested in securing her own financial future at the expense of others to the devoted, sacrificial young woman and loving niece she’s become. Katharine has always been analytical, quick-witted, sharp, pragmatic and determined, but those admirable traits have been put to better use now that she’s opened her heart to the people of Stranwyne. She’s matured greatly, become a leader, has been stretched to almost impossible lengths, and tested considerably… and will be again in A Spark Unseen. It’s simply fantastic. She’s simply fantastic.
Also wonderful is the development of Uncle Tully, Katharine’s sweet, brilliant autistic uncle. I love both Cameron’s portrayal of him in the book (and Katharine’s relationship with her uncle), and Hardingham’s portrayal of him in the audiobook. He steals the scene every time he’s on page.
The dynamic in this second book differs a lot from the first. Where The Dark Unwinding is a bit of a gothic mystery where I was trying to figure out who or what the “Bertha” was, A Spark Unseen has more of an international mystery/thriller feel to it. And it’s incredibly intense. Right from the beginning it’s incredibly intense, and the intensity never really dies down. It just keeps building with every turn of the page. It’s a definite nailbiter and page-turner, this book.
Odds ‘n ends:
– This is a book you’ll want on audiobook. Fiona Hardingham is an absolutely AMAZING narrator. I could listen to her all day… and sometimes, I did.
– There’s no third book listed, and A Spark Unseen has no cliffhanger/loose ends to speak of, but I’m still desperately hoping that we get another book. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Katharine quite yet.
Overall, full of intrigue, adventure, danger, and romance A Spark Unseen is a captivating, smart, and thrilling sequel to The Dark Unwinding.
I’m usually not a contemporary chick. It takes a lot for me to give a contemporary novel 5 stars. In general, I stick to paranormal or sci-fi for my “favorites shelf” material, but I pretty much love whatever Katie McGarry writes. She’s one of those writers that I can pick up her books knowing I’ll enjoy the read. My favorite of her series has always remained Pushing the Limits. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her novellas and second book, Dare You To, but not as much as Pushing the Limits. Crash Into You came about as close as a book could come to replacing it on my favorites shelf. Instead, it earned a place next to it. =)
What I loved: Rachel and Isaiah. Together, apart, whatever they are doing. I just loved them so much. The fullness of these characters add so much depth to the book. Katie McGarry is an amazing story teller but what she excels at most, in my opinion, is character development. Her stories would not mean nearly as much if her characters were not so “jump off the page” realistic. But that’s what I’ve come to expect when I read her books. The characters are people. Real, flesh and blood people. Or at least, I wish they were, and that’s why her stories are so moving.
The plot was also riveting. I loved the tension and the unknown and the “when is the other shoe going to drop?” aspect. It was deliciously paced leaving me desperate to keep reading.
Overall, I loved this story. It was a fulfilling and wonderful read. Highly recommended.