Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor
Release Date -  August 1, 2017
Publisher Website - Raincoast
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends . . . and a (maybe) boyfriend. She's a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

In this sequel to the dazzling time-travel romance Into the Dim, sacrifice takes on a whole new meaning as Hope and Bran struggle to determine where-or when-they truly belong.
I have thought about time travel, and what time period I might like to visit. I have this romanticized version of what it would be like. After reading both Into The Dim, and Sparks Of Light, I would think twice before going if presented with the opportunity. Janet B Taylor offers up a memorable series that weaves in historical events with the fiction elements of this novel perfectly. It's one of those books that is entertaining to read, and has weight behind the story that surprised me.

The historical events that inspired this story are used as a great backdrop to the story. The fire that destroyed Tesla's laboratory is used a ticking clock and offers a setting that is inherently risk filled. It made the novel have a sense of urgency which really works for this time travel based plot. It ensures that the reader is invested in the story, and allows for danger to be inherent within the premise. It is part of what this series does so well, and makes them so readable.

This novel showcases Hope embracing being a Viator. She's eager to take her place and prove herself. I also appreciated that she was instantly good at everything. Those around her have many years more training and experience and it shows. Hope is allowed to not be perfect and make mistakes. She is allowed to be the 'chosen one' and still be the heroine of her own story. It was refreshing to see her have to work hard, and it not payoff right away. It felt more realistic which grounded the more fantastical elements of this novel.

The danger of time travel, and the impact it can have is a vital part of the story being told within this series. It's always clear to the reader the risk being taken, and the potential for disastrous (and fatal) consequences. The slightest misstep could alter the course of history. It shows how both physically and mentally taxing it would be to time travel. It addresses how hard it would be to stand by and not prevent something horrible from happening when you know you could prevent it. It's a burden that these characters feel along with the shock of being in a time period where customs, rights, and freedoms are so different from what they would be used to.

The romance between Bran and Hope is quickly becoming one of my favourite parts of this series. It is made all the more swoon worthy by their backstory and shared connection. It's 'Romeo and Juliet' star crossed aspect also ensures plenty of angst between them, and make all their stolen moments more delicious.

The family dynamic is, more than anything else, the core of the novel. Hope did not just gain insight into who she is when her mother's secret was revealed, she gained a family who loves her (and each other) fiercely. It adds a warmth to the story that is a nice balance to all the action that is happening. It also makes the stakes feel higher, because you come to care about all the characters, and believe that they genuinely care for each other. Spunky Phoebe is my favourite, and her bond with Hope is a joy to see progress. Two young ladies supporting and uplifting each other is something I am always excited to read about.

If you're looking for something to read while waiting for the next season of Outlander to begin, I would recommend checking this series out. It's a fun, romantic read that has just the right amount of danger and excitement thrown in. It's quickly becoming one of my favourite time travel based reads and I look forward to continuing Hope and Bran's story. 

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