Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Review: A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron
Book Two of The Dark Unwinding series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Rating: 4 stars 
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

What I Liked:

What a sequel! I seriously didn't know if the first book would have a sequel. I skim-read the first book, and then when I saw that the first book had a sequel, I decided to go back and read the first book for real. I love the first book, and I love the second book even more! Possible spoilers for book ONE ahead!

Lane has been gone for eighteen months, and Katharine has never stopped thinking of him. For eighteen months, she has been living with Uncle Tully and Mary and Stranwyne in fear. At the very beginning of the book, the action starts. Someone breaks into Katharine's home - more than one person. Mary whacks someone over the head - she is fierce! But anyway. After that encounter, Katharine decides to pack up Uncle Tully and her life at Stranwyne, and leave for Paris.

Keep in mind who left for France as well. 

Anyway, in Paris, Katharine meets her aunt Alice's nosy friend, all of the nosy friend's friends, and the mysterious Henri Marchand. All the while, Katharine is subtly looking for Lane, who is looking for Ben Aldridge, who has a different name and identity is France. Henri Marchand totally catches onto what Katharine is doing (looking for someone), and he seems to be wherever she is...

I really like how this book is set up. Two thirds of the book, we meet new characters and a new setting and a slightly different Katharine from the first book. Lane doesn't show up until the last one third of the book, and then things unravel, with his appearance. The action, mystery, and intrigue is present throughout the entire book, and it keeps the book very interesting.

You all know how much I LOVE historical fiction. I think this book was very authentic, especially the setting and dialogue. Cameron keeps the language historical accurate, but in a way that readers aren't confused or bored by the dry tone of Old English. And it is very clear to me that Cameron knows her history, and her setting, because everything seemed to come alive in this book. As was the case in this first book, but historical Paris sounds very beautiful.

So it may sounds like there is a love triangle, especially since the first book left off with Lane leaving Katharine and Stranwne, and the entrance of the lovely Henri Marchand, but it's not the case in this book. I LOVE Henri's role in this book, especially when he and Lane (and Katharine) come into the same room. Funny times, people, funny times.

The climax of this book is spectacular! I didn't know what to expect for the climax, but I really like how Cameron incorporated historical events into a fictitious story, and made Katharine and Lane a part of the bigger picture. 

Katharine, in this book, is amazing. She's slightly anachronistic, because she's very strong-willed for a historical woman, but I love her spirit. The way she manhandles Lane at the end is so, so funny. And Lane... while we didn't see a lot of him in this book, I love the interactions between him and Katharine. Also, the interactions between Lane and Henri are hilarious!

All in all, I really liked this book. Actually, I LOVED this book. And the ending is so great! 

What I Did Not Like:

I guess I wanted to see more of Lane. By default, I wanted to see more of Lane and Katharine. They don't meet until the last third of the book, and then when they do, the interactions are a tiny bit brief. I love all of the interactions, but I wanted more!

Also, this is the last book in the series (it is a duology). That makes me sad because I want to read more about Lane and Katharine! I mean, the ending wraps up really nicely, but still.

Would I Recommend It:

TOTALLY! I would recommend it to people who have read the first book (whether you liked it or not), and those who haven't read the first book, but is interested in the first book. Trust me, you can't go wrong with this historical fiction series! It's definitely one of my favorite YA historical fiction series.


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. I hope I've convinced someone to pick up this series or this book! The series didn't start well for me (I skim-read the first book, stupidly, before actually reading the entire thing), but I love how everything passed, and concluded!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I loved The Dark Unwinding! Glad the sequel lived up to its predecessor even if there is a disappointing lack of Lane :)

    1. The disappointment wasn't *too* bad, honestly :D

  2. I've read many cool things about these books, and your review and the fact that is a duology has sold me completely! Will have to add them to the TBR list!

    1. Duologies are so great because it's a two-year-wait instead of three! I hope you read this fantastic historical fiction series, Pili! ^_^

  3. I didn't read your review bc of the fact there are spoilers for book one which I haven't read :( but I saw you post on twitter so I was coming to check it out! I will look both these up though to see if they would be something I am interested in reading :)

    Crystal @ Crystal in Bookland

    1. Ooo, that is so considerate of you, Crystal! I totally understand though - book one doesn't end perfectly like one would expect. I hope you read both books! Thank you so much, Crystal!

  4. I checked the first book out from the library so it's in my stack I just haven't read it yet. I'm looking forward to it with your great reviews.

    1. YAY! I'm glad to hear that, Tammy. I hope you read this one and the first book. Thank you very much! That means so much, to hear that :D


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