I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.
Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don't think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.
Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger.
Kim Lam is an ordinary college student until a freak scientific accident (what else?) transforms Kim and three housemates into Sparks--and drafts them into the never-ending war between the Light and Dark. They struggle to master their new abilities--and (of course) to design cool costumes and come up with great hero-names.
Turns out that "accident" was just the first salvo in a Mad Genius's latest diabolical scheme. Now it's up to four newbie heroes to save the day, before they even have a chance to figure out what their team's name should be!
This was a truly fun book and I am so glad that I will get a chance to hear the author speak next month! I confess that I had never heard of him until he became a keynote speaker for the When Words Collide conference here in Calgary. I am so glad to have discovered him and his Dark/Spark series.
I am a great fan of fantasy, but when I originally read the blurb for this book, I had my doubts whether it was really for me. Once again, I am shown that I shouldn’t judge a book by [what is written on] the cover. I was only a paragraph or two into the novel when I realized that it was going to be a bunch of fun.
I especially appreciated the dialog--both between Kim/Zircon and her compatriots and her inner monologue. Then, there were things like vampires buying blood from human donors--not wanting to call it “blood money,” it becomes known as “trickle down.” Take that Ronald Reagan! So many things made me grin like a looney!
That’s the biggest reason, I think, that I enjoyed this book so thoroughly--I often struggle with written humour, but in this book I just GOT it. Maybe because the author is also Canadian, but I was amused by so many details. Because of course one Canadian hero is going to be a super hockey player and name herself after Wayne Gretzky. Ninety Nine became my favourite character and I am excited to see that she will have a starring role in the next book. And, yes, I have already requested it from the library and hope to have it in my hot little hands next week.
I am so pleased to have discovered this author! I can hardly wait to hear what he has to tell about his creations and his process. Just a month away!