Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Audiobook Review: The Sparks by Kyle Prue

The Sparks by Kyle Prue is a fascinating first entry in a trilogy that shows a great deal of promise. Read on for my thoughts on this novel, and whether or not you should dive into this world of feuding and fantasy.

Publisher’s Summary

One teen assassin-in-training must unite three warring supernatural dynasties before death comes to them all…

Find out why USA Today calls The Sparks “a crackling read” that “builds a vivid world (both) otherworldly and relatable.”

Neil Vapros just wants to make his father proud. The sixteen-year-old aspires to serve his family as an assassin, but he nearly dies in the process. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Neil’s family, as well as two rival dynasties, have abandoned an ancient promise to protect their city. An unknown evil has begun hunting all three houses from the shadows…

As Neil’s relatives fall one-by-one, he attempts to unite the three supernatural families against a common enemy. But earning trust after years of assassination attempts could prove impossible. Neil’s fight may involve more than a bloodthirsty empire, as betrayal rears its ugly head…

The Sparks is the first book in the award-winning Epic Feud trilogy of young adult fantasy novels. If you like captivating characters, inventive world building, and supernatural battles, then you’ll love Kyle Prue’s action-packed coming-of-age tale. Buy The Sparks today to ignite your thirst for adventure!

“A crackling read. The Sparks builds a vivid world that is at once otherworldly and relatable. Characters spring from the page in a deft twist on mythology that belies Kyle Prue’s young age. He’s a voice to be heard.” (Scott Bowles, USA Today)

Winner of numerous national awards including: Best Book in Florida and Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015 from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. The Sparks was runner up for Best Young Adult Fiction at the Florida Book Festival and won Honorable Mentions at the New England Book Festival, Midwest Book Festival, Southern California Book Festival, and the International London Book Festival. Prue also won an International Moonbeam Award and Indie Fab award for Best Young Author.

My Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that Kyle Prue wrote The Sparks when he was 16 because of the mature, complex, and adult nature of this book. I’d argue that calling it Young Adult isn’t the wisest idea because if I were a parent, I wouldn’t want my child reading such a mature book that deals with multiple murders, sex, and other realities of life that can shatter an individual’s innocence. Nevertheless, The Sparks is an excellent novel that is well written, masterfully narrated, and beautifully produced.

The Story

Focused on three feuding families, with the threat of savages outside the city walls, The Sparks borrows elements of The Pillars Of The Earth and The Maze Runner. Those two books are far superior to The Sparks, but at least the author drew inspiration from high-quality stories that are beloved.

It was hard for me to keep all of the characters straight because there are so many. Because of this, Neil is the only one who I could keep track of at all times and the one I related to the most.

As a result of my inability to invest in the characters because of there being so many, I never felt moved or upset when one of them died. The Hunger Games, on the other hand, did a beautiful job with character development, causing me to be sorrowful over the demise of a key character.

The Sparks also features a supernatural element, where characters have superpowers. This makes for an interesting twist on this familiar story, and the author does a fine job of describing this otherworldly behavior.

Narration

John Eric Preston narrates The Sparks, and he does an exceptional job. His voice is silky smooth, with an accent perfectly suited for this tale. Not only does he speak the words on the page, he inhabits each character, providing fantastical voices and a distinct separation between them, effortlessly weaving back and forth in what can only be described as vocal gymnastics. It’s one hell of a performance, and John Eric Preston’s narration takes this work of fiction from good to great.

Production

This audiobook sounds crystal clear. The audio levels always seemed stable, and I didn’t detect any mistakes or pick up on the narrator turning pages or anything like that. It is a top-tier audio production, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the story.

Final Verdict

The Sparks is a great first entry in a trilogy of books that I look forward to continuing to read. I’m delighted that I chose to listen to the audiobook because the superb narration elevated the already intriguing material to a higher level. For adults, this is a book worth listening to at least once, if not multiple times. For children . . . well, I’ll leave that up to the parents to decide. Either way, fire up this audiobook, throw on your favorite headphones, and enjoy!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kyle Prue. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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One thought on “Audiobook Review: The Sparks by Kyle Prue

  1. Pingback: 🎧 Audio Series Tour: The Feud Trilogy by Kyle Prue -

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