Sparked by Helena Echlin


A Persian legend, an ancient prophecy, predicts the unveiling of evil when the lunar eclipse occurs on All Hollow’s Eve. Jasper has been on a crusade in search of the four powers that can stop the legend’s destiny. Can they all be found in time before the lunar eclipse on Thursday, the day when the barrier between the dead and the living is opened wide?

Wow! What a great story. If you love YA fantasy, paranormal, with a touch of sci-fi chocked full of telekenesis, shape-shifters and a hint of mind bend, then Sparked is your next novel.

And Laurel will capture your heart!

Ivy has a habit of sneaking out at night from the trailer. But this night was different. The door was wide open and swinging in the rain. He favorite jacket left on the hanger in the closet. A piece of paper was left behind. A note from Ivy detailing her whereabouts and her return on Halloween for her sister’s birthday. But the tiny unique signifier is not by her name. A star. Laurel has a strong feeling that there is more than meets the eye, about her sister disappearance, and of those around her, including her new crush Jasper. She begins to have horrific recurring dreams about Ivy, so real that Laurel sees her and her captor. And she sees Ivy cultivating a new power. Laurel joins forces with Jasper, a high school mate, who aides her search for her sister while helping her to discover her unique “spark” and its role in a dark prophecy.

The tale starts on a Friday and ends on the following Friday, after Halloween. Although told from 3 points of view, the story is narrated mostly by Laurel. The plot unfolds quickly, engaging the readers until the last page. The premise behind the plot is based on an ancient Zoroastrian prophecy and four “powers” who must “freely link” to stop the rise of evil in Cascade. The powers are supernatural, and slowly the main characters are experiencing strange things that are both wonderful and frightening. As Thursday quickly approaches we rally nervously behind the unlikely teenage allies in the hopes to prevent evil’s ugly head from being revealed.

The characters in the story have detailed backstories and emotional interactions which make them engaging. The intriguing story of the Goodwins gives us a glimpse into a family that has always struggled to make it day by day. Ivy and Lareul are teenage sisters close in age. After a brief stint in foster care as a result of neglect, the girls are determined to do and live anywhere to keep the family together. Mei’s story in also heart-wrenching, a desire to know her family from China. She was left at a train station as an infant, with only a note attached. Jasper’s backstory is revealed late in the novel and is fascinating and ties the whole story together.

Echlin takes you on an emotional journey through eyes of a teenager and the tumultuous era of peer-pressure and sexual navigation. Laurel thinks she is not as attractive or as intelligent as her sister. But she feels the pangs of a crush for Jasper, a handsome boy whom everyone wants. And he only sees Laurel. I enjoyed Laural as a sister, unwilling to let anyone stop her from finding her sister. Her fear and tenacity are palpable. Her relentlessness may be her real super power. Mei and Peyton are “mean girls, ” but they too are wearing a mask that hides the insecurity and vulnerability of teenage life.

Criticism of this novel is that the prose lacked fluidity. The narrative, told by Laurel was chopped up intermittently by Mei and Peyton’s point of view. The story also felt slightly plot driven with less attention to the stage. Although the characters were three dimensional, I found that the author did not take the time describing the scenery for the supernatural story.

Echlin delivers suspense combined with fantasy in her new novel “Sparked.” This quick paced entertaining read was one of my first YA paranormal thrillers, and I am hoping there is a sequel.

Thank you, NetGalley, Inkshares and Helena Echlin for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.


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