BOOK BLOG: Alice Broadway

Spark: what happens when you have to see a story from the other side?

SparkCan we take a minute to appreciate this cover please?

Leora is reeling: questioning everything she has ever known about her family and herself.
As half-Marked and half-Blank, can she ever wholly belong in either fractured community? Mayor Longsight wants to use her as a weapon: to infiltrate Featherstone, home of the Blanks, and deliver them to him for obliteration. Leora longs for answers about her mysterious birth mother, and Featherstone may reveal them. But will she find solace and safety there or a viper’s nest of suspicion and secrets?

(FYI: I’ve tried to write this review a million times… bear with me here!)

If you’ve not read Ink, then I recommend WHOLEHEARTEDLY that you do (you’ll find my review here). Spark is the second book in what will be a trilogy (OMG YES). The final book in the trilogy comes out next year and I am SO READY to see how Leora’s story ends (but so not ready… I’ll miss Leora and Obel a lot)

In Ink, you meet a young girl who is questioning everything about who she is. She’s afriad, she’s not sure who to trust. She begins exploring and questioning those in trust around her. In Spark, you get that Leora and so much more. You get a Leora who has to learn to trust brand new people. You get a Leora who needs to be more open minded. You get a Leora who has to keep doing what she knows is right, even if everything around her is saying not to. Leora is one of those brilliant characters in YA who is just so incredibly brilliant – she’s brave, she’s bold, she’s afraid, she’s faulted… she’s real. I have grown genuinely attached to her over the two books, so book 3 is going to be an experience! 

Through Spark, you learn the stories from Ink, from the Blank’s perspective. One of the most powerful elements of this series for me is the sense of folklore and the use of stories. In Ink, you learn about the two princesses and what they’ve done to make these 2 groups of people – the Marked and the Blanks. That’s all the perspective you have – that the Blanks are “alien”, they’re strange, they’re the baddies. When Leora is banished to life with the Blanks, she’s naturally terrified, but there’s part of her that knows that these people are people after all. 

Reading Spark and the folk stories which are encapsulated in it and seeing the world from the Blank’s perspective was just a delight. You see the other side of the fairytale. You see the Marked people labelled as the baddies, as the strange ones. They’re the ones in the wrong. As I was reading, I was discovering along with Leora. She had NO idea there was another side to these stories. She’s only ever known life as a Marked one. There’s a brilliant sense of duality throughout these books… it’s something I loved the most. 

(Can you tell I loved EVERYTHING the most? It’s one of those books!)

So Leora is sent to live with the Blanks and she quickly has to learn that there is going to be an awful lot of mistrust (aimed at her, but from her to the others around her). She meets an incredible bunch of people on the other side of life, who initally meet her with great resistence. There’s Gull, a young Blank, who takes Leora under her wing (lol no pun intended) and wants to befriend her. Gull was a ray of light for me through the book. Being so open and accepting of a perfect stranger – she’s a brilliant human. There’s Nate, Gull’s older brother, who does NOT trust Leora… he’s one to keep your eye on. I was unsure of him at first, but he earned a lot of my love and respect by the end. He’s one of those characters that takes a lot of growing on, but you get there eventually. He definitely deserves a lot of love. But obviously, there’s not just the guys who make Leora feel welcome, there’s also a lot of people who don’t want to welcome her. 

(Shout out to Obel here, I love him so much)

In the Marked world, there’s obviously still Mayor Longsight… you guys know how I feel about him. I can’t stand him. He’s a piece of work. There’s a scene in this book where I was STUNNED. Something happens with one of the Blanks that I genuinely did not expect. I trusted that Blank… you’ll know who I mean if you’ve read it. 

So yeah… in Spark you have this incredible “other side of the coin” from Ink. I can’t say how much I loved this book because I am yet to find the words. Alice Broadway builds this incredible world, an incredible bunch of characters and certainly a moral dilemma or two. Pair this world building with some bloody brilliant storytelling and crumbs of information and you’ve got an absolute killer book. I can not wait for book 3. It is going to be special. I can feel it now.

My Goodreads review reads:
ALL OF THE STARS. I am not sure how to process that ending. The whole story with Leora’s story woven with the legends of the past, her inner turmoil with the outer unrest. Man what a story. I just, can’t manage to find words to be honest.

So yeah… sorry for such a rambling review. I haven’t even mentioned half of the things I loved… let’s talk about it! GO GO GO. READ INK AND SPARK PLZ.

Have you read Ink and Spark?
What colour do you think the 3rd cover should be?
Would you rather be a Blank or a Marked?

Talk to me! I’d love to know what team you are on for the 3rd cover!

S x