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335 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2013
Actual rating: 3.4
As some of you know, my friends, I was (still am, maybe) in a middle of a reading slump or was it the weather (-30C) or all at once, but anyways it didn't help that this book was slooow. If you read my review on The Dark Unwinding, you know that it was slow paced too but it was absolutely suiting to the mood and action. In the case of A spark unseen, no such luck - the books was not just slow but boring too. I was struggling to read the first half, conquering 10% a day (!) - trust me, it is a very slow pace for me, usually I am more like this:
And a priory this book had to be more agile (read the annotation); it starts after almost two years from the events of the first book, and our heroine Katharine is thrown into a rather baffling circumstances and have to act quick; add lots of le espionnage to it, and the result should at least keep we awake and sober. Again, that didn't happen. And I should've been glad when action at last took place in the story, but it was so theatrically ridiculous at times, I just felt like watching a B-class spy movie. No. No. No. The first book was a historical fiction and was perfect for it's genre, this one tried to cram history, spies, comedy, romance and drama together and in the end mostly failed.
But not everything is lost, and I didn't suffer through 10% per day to be disappointed in the end (I am not a patient person and in that case I'd just DNFed the book). No, this book has a redeemable qualities and they are the French men of this book. I love how Sharon Cameron creates her male characters, they are so... dreamy, they burn bright (and hopefully will not burn down) and this book was alight like a spark unseen, when they appeared in the scene (um, it rhymes). Lane Moreau you already know from the previous book: he is a moody, dark pal with hot temper. Unfortunately, he was absent most of the book and appeared only in the last 15%. But what a bright 15% that were (aside all the ridiculous espionage)! But while Lane was absent, Henry Marchand didn't let us bore to death with his witty comments and devil-may-care attitude. I don't even want to choose between these two and just will take both of them with me on a desert island. And when boys appear in the same scene, whoops!
“It is easy to be fooled by a magician, chérie. Do not forget that I like tricks of all sorts.”
“Call her that again and I will hit you twice,” Lane said, matter-of-fact. We all believed him.
Henri smiled as he straightened his sleeves. “What an amusing time we shall have.”
I recommend this book if only for Henry and Lane. And worry not, there's no love triangle, just lots of flirt.
Coming back to serious issues, I had other troubles with some aspects of this book, or rather how it portrayed some of the people, but against the background of all the things that bothered me in the story, this particular notion doesn't carry much weight and is easily lost in a more pressing matters which I described above. I think it is a necessary matter to read the sequel if you read the first book and liked it and want to know how ultimately things settled. A spark unseen wasn't bad nor very good: it was different form it's predecessor. It also was my first read in 2016 and not a bad one. Ultimately I would like to read more adventures of Katharine and Lane if the author would write another book. And a separate book for Henry would make me beyond happy.
~~Second Time I Read It~~
"Is this my hat?"
White nightgowns and yellow light against dark clothing and shadow.
"What is it telling you, Uncle?" I whispered.
After a long time he said, "It says that it is right, that its pieces are working, and that the when is now."
"And the clock is working even in a different place, isn't it?"
"Fais attention aux femmes déterminées. That's what my dad always told me."
No one but I, Katherine Tulman, could run across land and sea to hide a supposed-dead uncle from not one but two governments, only to move next door to one of the most blatant gossips on the continent. I really wasn’t sure why I was surprised.
"It’s all right not to understand. I’ll stay with you until you do."
"Sometimes big things can be little."
If we could not have our life at Stranwyne then we would build our old life here, cog by cog and stone by Parisian stone. This I would do. Somehow. Would not rest until it was done. For my uncle. And for myself.