Burn hot and cold.
Disappear at will.
Dream your own death.
Welcome to Sparkstone University, where some students are more gifted than others.
When Ingrid learns she’s been accepted at the hyper-secretive Sparkstone University, she is sceptical. It’s an honour to attend, apparently, and yet barely anyone has ever heard of the place.
And everyone seems a little too happy that she’s there: especially when she meets Sunni and her group of friends. They seem to already know Ingrid. As if she was expected. Expected to save Earth from an imminent alien invasion. Like she has superpowers or something.
As if magic and mutations exist. As if aliens are really planning to attack.
That just sounds ridiculous. There’s no such thing.
I'm Choosing This Because:
If you all remember back a bit I took part in the cover reveal for Stars in Her Eyes where I just happily fangirled the cover. A lot. So when I got an email about the blog tour I was all "WOO HOO!" and signed up for it. So here I am now, about to read it and I have to say that I'm excited. I love discovering new authors and when they're good I have a little party. So this is definitely a story I'm excited to read.
Judging a Book By Its Cover:
YAY!! Another chance to fangirl this cover!! It's all shades of blue and purple prettiness. Once you've got beyond the sheer beauty of the colours you can move on and marvel the talent of the artist. The girl on the cover is stunningly drawn and I have to say that I very much admire great artists. I can barely draw a stick man. The space ship type things at the bottom of the cover are a nice addition that it took me ages to notice but appreciate greatly now that I know they're there. The font is a great example of how a font doesn't always have to be elaborate to be pretty and eye-catching. Definitely got me a case In Love With Cover-Itis here.
Pricing the (Possible) Awesomeness:
Okay, so I checked on Amazon for you, (as always) and I've come up with prices for you all. There's a paperback edition available for £8.97 but the Kindle edition is only 77p!!!! Bargain!!! So if you've not read Clare's stuff before I'd definitely encourage you to buy the eBook edition and if you want it on your shelf go get the paperback then. As you've probably guessed, I got a free version in exchange for an honest review for blog tour purposes.
So, for me this is a great addition to the books I've read this year. It's another story that feels very different to what I normally read but yet again it hasn't made me enjoy the story any less. It’s one of those stories where you end up thinking “Why don’t I normally read this genre?” and curse your stupidity. Did I think this was a perfect story? No, but I rarely do. However I know a good idea when I see one and this story is a good idea. In fact I would go so far as to say it could be the start of a new exciting series filled with science geekiness and believe me, that’s cool.
Length - I like that this isn't a massive story that takes about a century for me to read. I know that I could've read this faster than I did, I’ll confess that I’ve not been well and that makes reading hard. Now back to the actual book, it's a story that pulls you in from the very beginning. The opening to this had me going "OOOOOOH!" and reading much more than I'd originally intended to. Some of the chapters are a bit long for my personal tastes but overall the length is something that worked well with my short attention span.
Time frame - This was a negative aspect for me and a complete contradiction because I loved the length of the story. The story happens over a very short period of time and I really find it hard to believe. If I'm 100% honest I would've happily taken more pages if it meant that there was more time for plot development rather than everything just falling into place in the most random ways. I know that this could just be me overthinking but HELLO?! Aliens and superheroes! We could definitely get away with some more plot development here! Also more character development would be good. I’m having difficulty of thinking of things to say that aren’t “Nice character.” and that’s not good.
Editing - Now I have to say that overall this is incredibly well edited. I barely found any errors at all, the main one for me being "you've" instead of "you're" at one point, but these things happen, especially when you’re an indie, you just don’t have the funding that traditional authors get. Something else about the editing that intrigued and pleased me is the fact that the spelling was British. It's not common for me to see British spelling so when I do I always get a bit excited about it. Mainly because I genuinely can't get to grips with US spelling. It always looks slightly alien.
Ingrid - Our main character. I did like her but I didn't think that she was remarkable in any way and this makes it hard for me to tell you about her. I'm sure that we'll get to find out more about her in the upcoming books (because this is the first of a series) and just what it is that makes her special. However, I would’ve liked to find that out in the first instalment. While I greatly appreciate mystery sometimes you have to let the reader know what they’re dealing with.
Wil - Now the main thing I think about Wil is "OMG! His name only has one "l", just like Wil Wheaton!" I'm not sure that reveals anything about the book or anything, unless you count me pretty much admitting I'm a total geek. He's an interesting character, I think him and Jia (who I might talk about at some point) are going to be the glue of the group. Especially him, he has that peacemaker feel about him. He’s also the character I’m most looking forward to seeing develop. I’m not sure why this is, call it me sensing potential.
Ethan - The British love interest for Ingrid but very forgettable (seriously, I forgot his name. I just had to go look it up.) I think the word to describe him is nice. I hope we get to see more of him in future stories because I think that's the only way I'll be able to decide exactly how I feel about him. I say nice but the conspiracy theorist in me is imagining a twist, actually I want that twist. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’d add a great new layer to the overall story arc.
Overall this is a fun, quick read that's individual and something I think everyone should read. The length of the story holds it back as things aren't as well explained as I'd like them to be but as this is the first in a new series this means the plot development has more to give and it’s always fun seeing that happen. The writing was something I really liked and the nice characters made me happy. Hating fictional people is so exhausting. So while it has its flaws it knows how to make imaginations work and my brain thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
My little geeky heart loves aliens and this has aliens. It also has superhero types. I swear it's like the greatest combination ever. There's also David Tennant love. I'm sorry but if the characters like him then that's good enough for me to enjoy a book. I'm a fickle geek. I definitely recommend this to YA sci-fi fans because it's just a really good story that deserves to be read.
I'd like to thank Clare for letting me take part in this tour! I'm so grateful and reading the book was a total blast! I'd also like to point out that while I received this book for free it hasn't changed how I feel about this. All my reviews are honest and from the heart.