REVIEW: Spark by Brigid Kemmerer
by Brigid Kemmerer
Elementals Series, Book Two
Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.
Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.
Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.
More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake — this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.
Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.
The fuse is lit…
MY THOUGHTS: 5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Gabriel Merrick is one of a family of brothers that has an affinity for the elements. Gabriel controls fire…but pretty much, it controls him. Fire is the one element that is not available all the time, so when one does occur, it calls to Gabriel. But he doesn’t want to be known as the one that destroys things all the time. He has enough to worry about, what with his short temper and anger issues constantly driving people away.
When Gabriel starts getting help from the bookish Layne, he finds that there’s something about her that makes him forget his problems. And there are a lot of them: fighting with his brothers, grades, sports, and oh yeah…someone is starting fires all over town. Though it’s not Gabe, the fires are calling for him to come play. Can he resist the pull?
LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book. It was much better than the first one for me, and I’m not sure if it’s because the focus was on a different Merrick brother, or what. These characters had a lot of angst and I loved everything about it.
Gabriel is the most volatile of the Merrick brothers, a fact that is directly related to his elemental affinity being fire. He’s quick to mouth off or fight, something I both love and hate about him. I love it when he is using his temper to protect the ones who need it, but sometimes he never knows when enough is enough and he needs to shut his mouth. He usually means well, but somehow always ends up getting himself in trouble.
That’s why it was so delicious when he started talking to Layne. She’s a sophomore who never broke a rule a day in her life, and is so smart she’s in a senior math class. Basically, the complete opposite of Gabriel. But of course, she has a lot of baggage of her own. Ironically enough, a fire years ago led to the driving apart of her family, and gave her scars and major self esteem issues.
Gabriel and Layne come together slowly, and at first their relationship is not even a friendship, just a mutual understanding of each other. But as Gabriel’s problems start growing, he finds solace in her, and starts feeling things for her he never imagined he would. It was a little frustrating to me that he couldn’t keep his mouth shut at first and kept ticking her off, but what’s a relationship without some drama?
This book had a great mix of everything, and I really enjoyed that the action was fast paced and pretty consistent throughout the book. I also liked that Gabriel was able to find a friend outside of his brothers to hang out with. The scenes between Gabriel and Hunter were very cool, but I wish they would have had a final talk to smooth things over towards the end. It seemed there was something there to talk about.
I can’t wait to read more about the Merrick brothers, and I’m sure I’ll end up falling in love with them all.