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Summary

"Everyone in the world has a Spark, a light inside that guides them, keeps them alive."

Starting school is supposed to be a fun and exciting time for any new student. But for Lark, a skilled archer and fledgling mind-reader, it's a creative form of torture. Locked in rooms and hallways with both friends and enemies, bombarded by the thoughts and feelings of his peers, Lark is a prisoner.

On a quest to master his Spark, Lark's mentor - his one ally - is anything but helpful. What Lark fails to realize is the value of his rare ability, and just how far some are willing to go to have control of him.

©2014 RS McCoy (P)2015 RS McCoy

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • AudioBook Reviewer
  • 13-07-16

On the whole, I enjoyed the story

Sparks is of the training school variety of fantasy:  Boy with unexplained abilities gets shipped off unexpectedly to said place where abilities are explained.  Boy has mean, evil tutor, who doesn't teach him nice.  Girl and bully show up.  Boy loves girl, boy fights bully, boy saves girl from bully.  Characters develop and do plot moving things that I won't mention to keep from spoiling it for you, then the partially trained students get thrust into a potentially violent, politically volatile situation.  More plot stuff, and minor friend characters die, and you want to read the sequel.

Lark is a bit of a boy genius character, a bit too smart for his own good.  With his mind reading Spark he can anticipate fights, and he can learn and retain information extraordinarily fast.  While important, and certainly relationship building between the characters, the time at the academy is a little rushed and awkward, as is the romance that developed between Lark and Khea.

Khea is rather severely underdeveloped in my opinion, she's a likable character with a lot of potential for the rest of the series, obviously important as a love interest and motive for the main character, and a large catalyst of the plot towards the end, but for most of the book she just fuels Lark's hormones.

Avis (evil tutor) is the most interesting, and one of the better mentor figures I've come across lately. Lots of possibilities with him.

On the whole, I enjoyed the story, it flowed well, the characters were pretty well written, if I had any major complaint it would be the dialogue, it felt a little unnatural, though I think that was partly due to the narration.

There is some sexual content, not explicit, but it was kind of weirdly done.  I wouldn't recommend this to younger children.

The quality is not bad, though there is a little bit of a wet sound to the narration.  Maybe an EQ or recording issue.

Kyle Wright is a good reader, he's clear, and easy to understand. His voice is a little too sympathetic for my taste (if that makes sense), but I would listen to him again.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly Vanderbloom
  • 07-01-16

A sultry voice for a fantastic series

Where does Sparks rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The gorgeous cover called to me so I decided to pick up a ecopy of this book. I couldn't get the cover or synopsis out of my head so I also upgraded by ecopy to an audible book and picked up the paperback. I had quite the different experience when reading it. My Kindle died so I started on the paperback. Once nightfall came around I picked up the Kindle copy and started to read. When morning came I decided to listen to rest of the book while I cleaned the house. I loved every page and word of this book. I was fascinated with the world McCoy made. The characters were flawless and the narration was sultry. My favorite character was Lark. I liked being in his head. He was the perfect point of view. I thought he was brooding and funny. I laughed so hard when he was thinking about girls. My favorite moment was when Avis was teaching Lark about girls. It made me laugh and it was such a tender moment between the two. I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nenette
  • 11-11-17

Good story and voice acting but...

Bad production quality control — very irritating, constant background noise in most of the entire audiobook, lots of reading mistakes that should have been cropped out, very obvious spotty transitions between recording sessions. If you can forgive the production quality, the story was enjoyable.

Oh, the expletives and slangs used were so incompatible with the setting of the book. I think they kinda ruined the credibility of the fantasy. If you ignore the f words and ‘suck’ expressions, you’d enjoy the story better.

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  • Daisy
  • 15-06-17

Sparks

Would you try another book from RS McCoy and/or Kyle Wright?

I want to try reading the book and seeing if it gets more if my attention.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The story seemed great at times but I kept falling asleep listening to it, which hasn't happened to me before with previous books.

How could the performance have been better?

Throughout the story he kept yawning. Which kept me from enjoying the actual story.

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  • Brian J. Purcell
  • 22-10-16

Great story teller

For a first attempt at writing and publishing R. S. McCoy I believe has nailed it. Great introduction to characters and descriptions of the atmosphere and the structure overall was great. I read the book some time ago when she first released it on Amazon and really enjoyed it so I decided to look for audiobook.
This story was about two young kids taken to a school for gifted to be trained and educated so they can fulfill the desires of two people drunk on power. But as most teens do they eventually rebel and go against the wishes of those with the power.
Unfortunately the first book is all that has been put in audio format.
There were a few minor issues I think with the audiobook, first you can here what sounds like a metallic noise in the back ground. This wasn't enough to keep me from listening though. Second, there was an issue it seems at the beginning of each chapter the first few words somehow get repeated.
Overall very well done and enjoyable story.