Spark (Rachael Craw, Walker Books)
Spark by Rachael Craw follows 17-year-old Evie as she learns that her DNA is of third-generation super-soldier stock from a failed experiment by the government. As a Shield, Evie is programmed to protect certain people, called Sparks, from other failed super-soldiers, called Strays, who find themselves with an uncontrollable desire to kill. Fortunately, Evie’s first Spark happens to be her best friend, though this doesn’t make her job any easier—especially when she learns who her Stray is. I thoroughly enjoyed Spark. The action is tense, the love story isn’t too overbearing, and Evie fights against her fate as much as she can. Craw is aware of her genre, playing to its strengths and fighting its weaknesses. I got a kick out of the wry remark made by Evie’s fellow female Shield when Evie finds herself becoming more attractive upon activation: ‘Not very PC, huh?’ Spark is perfect for 14-year-olds who liked Scott Westerfeld’s ‘Uglies’ series and Suzanne Collins’ ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy.
Dani Solomon is a bookseller at Readings Carlton