Maree is riveted to her seat and sparks fly.

I’ve just realized I’m all fired up to talk about yet another YA book I’ve just finished and loved to bits. What’s with all the amazing YAs out there right now? Must be something in the water *g*

If you’re not a fan of YA then I can only apologize and recommend you check out Meljean Brook‘s Riveted, a standalone novel from her Iron Seas series. Ilona Andrews sums this book up far better than I ever could with this:

“A stunning blend of steampunk setting and poignant romance.” I wholeheartedly agree: it was a wonderful read.

And the cover is totally awesome!

But back to the YA.

This month it’s Spark by Brigid Kemmerer.

This is the second book in Kemmerer’s Elemental series, featuring five brothers who can each control a different element. Spark is Gabriel’s story, and Gabriel plays with fire. Literally. Only trouble is, sometimes he can’t control it. So when an arsonist starts putting the townspeople at risk, and Gabriel’s coerced to try and help save victims caught in the fires, all the signs point to Gabriel being the arsonist.

One of the things I love about this series (aside from the developing romances which are fabulous, BTW), is the family dynamic between the brothers. I found the interaction between siblings and their thought processes and dialogues to be incredibly realistic — authentic is another word that springs to mind. Very teenage boy-like. In other words, Gabriel is frustrating and infuriating and more than a little heartbreaking, but we love him anyway.

Here’s a scene between Gabriel and older brother Michael, who has the thankless job of acting as the boys’ guardian:

Not only did his brothers think he was setting fires to kill people, but the firefighters did, too.

Michael was still standing there watching him. “You want to tell me what’s going on?”

Gabriel slapped the laptop shut and turned for the hallway.

“Hey,” said Michael. “Let’s talk about this.”

“What do you want me to say?” Gabriel called over his shoulder. His throat felt tight, and if he stopped, if Michael kept up this let’s-work-through-it-together crap any longer, he was going to seriously lose it. “Congratulations, Detective, you solved the case.”

“Goddamn it, Gabriel, this puts all of us at risk. Do you understand me?”

“So turn me in.”

“Keep acting like this, and I’ll be forced to.”

That made Gabriel stop short on the steps, but he didn’t turn. He could barely breathe through his anger. Michael wouldn’t. He couldn’t.

Gabriel didn’t even know who he’d turn him in to. The cops, the Guides?

Did it really matter which? He wasn’t starting the fires. If he and Hunter stopped, nothing would change.

Except more people might die.

“Please,” said Michael. “I don’t want to think you’re doing this but–”

“But what? You can’t help it? I’m such a frigging screwup that it has to be–”

“Cut the crap. It’s obvious you’re involved somehow. Would  you just tell me what’s going on?”

Gabriel stared walking again. “Why bother? You sound like you’ve made up your mind already.”

“I can’t help you if you won’t–”

Gabriel slammed his bedroom door. Then leaned against it, hands in fists at his sides.

Can’t wait to read the next in the series :)

As for the rest of this month’s reads, I’m having a bit of a Robert Jordan-fest, and re-reading all the books I own in the Wheel of Time fantasy series before I start on the ones Brandon Sanderson wrote from Jordan’s notes to finish off the series. It’s been a while since I read the last book I’d bought, and it’s such a hugely complex story I didn’t think I’d do it justice unless I started right from the beginning again–there’d be too much I’d likely forgotten! I’m now about 200 pages into the 5th book, The Fires of Heaven, and all I can say is re-reading the series to refresh my memory is a good call. This one’s about 900 pages even with teeny font, and the others are all just as lengthy! Not surprising that my October reading list is a little short, I guess:

October Reads

  • Tea and Destiny by Sherryl Woods
  • Light the Stars by RaeAnne Thayne
  • The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
  • The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
  • Meaning-full Disease by Professor Brian Broom
  • The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
  • Riveted by Meljean Brook
  • Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
  • The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
  • Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Oh, and it’s Halloween tomorrow so….

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

And make sure you check out tomorrow’s post about the Darksiders’ Blog Hop and giveaways.

 

M

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