All I can say, Mrs Craw, is – why only bring out one book at a time... why?!

Spark literally has everything. I want more, need more and I want it all now - but let me start with its misdemeanors...

Hear that? Didn’t think so. That, my friends is pure unadulterated silence. A tumble weed, gathering dust, rolling about the desert like an extra from a long forgotten, Clint Eastwood western. I quite honestly have nothing bad to say – this book is a contender as a Hunger Games rival without a doubt. This sci-fi/paranormal book 
will both inspire and unnerve.

So what’s it about?

Evie is a girl of seventeen, caught between conflict in so many ways that you’ll instantly want to protect her, spurring her on as she discovers all is not well with her rogue DNA. With her mother having recently passed away and her new life beginning with her aunt (her mum’s twin) this is only the beginning of insurmountable change. Strange things have been happening physiologically to Evie. Strange, unnatural things. Electrical currents zip-zapping inside her body, accelerating her growth, making her feel like she is going insane - and her dreams? They’re more nightmares, of running and hunting, of super-strength and death and eye’s watching from the shadows. There are so many wonderful secrets woven into the back story that your heart races in time with hers as you discover what she really is. You’ll also openly wish that something this phenomenal could happen to you. You become a foaming beast, insatiable – hunting down the evidence with her, asking who, what and why! You see, Evie is a Shield, a genetically engineered, third generation of unchartered bio-tech. She is in danger from her peers, she doesn’t know who she can trust and to top it off, the people she loves the most are intricately woven into the web she is tangled in – oh, and there’s a boy. (As if things weren’t complicated, enough!)

This is the first book in a long time which I have read cover to cover in less than 6 hours. This is a book I wish I had written. 

There’s no green-eyed monster here – but plenty of envy for its brilliance – let me tell you why:

Firstly, think: Bourne Identity, think – Push.

Rachael’s done her homework! Science meets psychic phenomena, medicine meet’s conspiracy. There is such an array of easy to digest information, (don’t panic! If I understood it, you’ll be fine.) that it gets you really thinking... like really, really thinking! It all ties the story together, giving you hard fact mixed with a sprinkling of realism. You’ll want to Google things, look in books and ask your friends if they’ve ever heard of kinetic memory transfer and ethereal links to another person’s mind. There’s such a great mix here that I believe young adults and adults alike, will whole heartedly buy into Spark. I will say it again – Spark, has it all!

Evie has a unique bond with several of the characters, her childhood friendship with Kitty being paramount as she is the Spark who needs her protection. Then there’s her unrequited, unfinished young love with Jamie. It took me back to my days of Bananarama and Duran Duran, of summers waiting for romance to manifest – and by comparison it totally out does the bond between Twilights, Bella and Edward.

If you are looking for a wave of pitted time with very real, insane heart palpitations, whimsy of the possibilities your own heritage may throw up all over you, and , the gut wrenching decisions which arise as unexpectedly as a cow-pat in long grass -  I advise you to hunt down a copy of Spark as if your life depended on it. 

There are so many dynamics of both human emotion and radical symbiosis to churn your gut and curiosity, that I guarantee you will also want to hunt down Rachael and Walker Books Australia for not bringing out all three in the series, at once.

I could rave about this genius forever, but I won't, for fear of being sectioned. (Rachael is already responsible for insomnia, frothing and crossed-eyes-syndrome - this would only add to the growing list of problems arising from reading Spark.) I will leave you with a small round up, again - find a copy and be blown away.

What is a Spark? The object of a Shields protection. A Spark sends out a signal which is received by both the Shield and Stray – making them a target and vulnerable.

What is a Shield? The protector of a Spark. A Shield can uniquely tap into the Sparks subconscious, alerting them when a Stray is close. The bond they share is so strong that they cannot be far apart until the threat has been removed.

What is a Stray? These guys have gone bad. Rogues which now have a free reign to kill at will, unstoppable and without conscience. They only have one agenda and are blind sighted to anything else.

All are linked kinesthetically, though the Spark sends signals and does not receive them. It’s a three way carnage where upon, only the strongest will survive, prevail – and conquer.

Spark will stay with me for a long time, so much so that it has oiled the cogs of my own inner conscience. I feel another book coming on.

Rachael, you are an inspiration. The very fact this book was born of a dream shows how connected you are to creativity – may it long continue.

About the author (courtesy of Walker Books Australia Site)

Rachael Craw studied Classical Studies and Drama at the University of Canterbury, but became an English teacher after graduation. Working with teenagers has given her a natural bent towards Young Adult fiction and a desire to present a feisty female protagonist in her writing. Her debut novel, Spark, is the first in a series released with Walker Books Australia from 2014. Rachael was born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, and currently lives in Nelson with her husband and three daughters. Visit her online at


  1. " as unexpectedly as a cow pat in long grass " Where the heck did that come from? Great observation though, and an interesting review.

  2. Ha ha. Mr North, you know me and my similes...

  3. Don't recall ever seeing your similes!


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