Review: Spark by Sarah Beth Durst

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Review: Spark by Sarah Beth DurstSpark by Sarah Beth Durst, Eevin Hartsough

Published by Recorded Books on May 14th 2019
Genres: Fantasy
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When a shy girl and her dragon-like companion discover their country’s idyllic weather comes at a steep—and secret—cost, they recruit fellow students to defy authority and attempt to spread the truth.

Storm beasts and their guardians create perfect weather every day, and Mina longs for a storm beast of her own. But when the gentle girl bonds with a lightning beast—a creature of fire and chaos—everyone’s certain it’s a mistake. Everyone but Mina and the beast himself, Pixit. Quickly enrolled in lightning school, Mina struggles to master a guardian’s skills, and she discovers that her country's weather comes at a devastating cost—a cost powerful people wish to hide. Mina’s never been the type to speak out, but someone has to tell the truth, and, with Pixit’s help, she resolves to find a way to be heard.

I read Spark by Sarah Beth Durst as part of the SFF Oasis readathon in July for the Animal Companion prompt.

While recovering from eye surgery, I got hooked on audiobooks but still prefer shorter works. Most middle-grade books are on the shorter side while they still hold the same wonder I’m looking for in a fantasy book. Spark is a standalone fantasy novel which was perfect. And who doesn’t dream of having a dragon companion?

I loved the world building. The whole idea of weather-related dragons and how they use their magic to influence the weather to create the ideal world was appealing. What makes it even better is that Mina also sees that there’s a downside to altering the weather, not for their kingdom, but for the rest of the world.

Mina and Pixit are a cute team even though Pixit is insecure, and Mina’s personality doesn’t fit well with the stereotype of a storm guardian. They both grow into their bond and their roles although they give their own spin on it. Mina’s friends are a great support system for her while she’s away from home.

The narration by Eevin Hartsough was done well. One of the few female narrators I really enjoyed. Lots of different voices for the characters and I could feel the emotion even though I sped it up.

I give Spark four stars. A really enjoyable middle-grade adventure featuring dragons. If you liked Stephanie Burgis’s The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart, you’ll love this one too.

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