Book Club Review: A Spark of Light

Are you looking for a great book for your women’s book cub? Look no farther than A Spark of Light. Beautifully written, Jodi Picoult focuses on characters than just the idea of abortion which makes everyone on every side.
When a shooter goes to the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, everyone there from the doctor, to the patients, to the protestors are affected. How did they get here? What is going on in their lives? How do they reconcile their stance with their moral beliefs?a-spark-of-light
Picoult writes reverse chronological order. In another author’s hands, this would prove a challenger in keeping the material fresh. But Picoult manages to add new information as she goes back in time staving off any boredom and keeping the reader engaged. There are even two twists. While I saw one coming, the other took me by surprise and will change my perception when I read it again. (I have read reviews where people have claimed that this twist was unbelievable, but I live in the Deep South and can tell you this happens more than you can ever imagine.) That being said, I was left without closure for so many characters and wish there had been more about what happens to these characters after the events.
While Picoult makes her stance on her abortion heard, she treats every character with respect showing readers each side. The book focuses on the characters’ lives instead of just an ideological or political issue. Each person could be your neighbor, your family or your friend.
Touching and beautifully written, A Spark of Light is Picoult at her best.

King of Fools

The Shadow Game #2

In the sequel to Ace of Shades, Amanda Foody ramps the violence and danger for the story’s protagonists.
In New Reynes, City of Sin, Levi and Enne have gotten away from the Shadow Game with their lives intact. But their infamous actions will both hinder their new lives while at the same time driving their status in the North Side gangs. With the senator dead, Levi works with an estranged member of the donna who holds his life in her hanKing-of-Foolsds. If Levi can ensure this family member wins, then Levi will win his freedom in return. Enne finds herself building her own gang of women from the ground up and must combine both who she was with where she is now and show everyone who she can be.
While this is not as good as its original, I enjoyed reading the story of Enne’s growth. I loved to see her take her past and fit into her present to make a better future. Instead of foolishly trying to reinvent herself, she molds aspects of her life into one whole. I was a little disappointed that she wasn’t a bit stronger where Levi is concerned but their romance is a driving force of the story.
Levi’s was less enthralling this time around. He second guessed himself at every moment and seemed to put away his humanity. But his lack of balance was filled out by the addition of Jac’s perspective. It was great getting to know him and see his own story.
Overall, the political game and gang wars was less compelling than the Shadow Game but Foody seems to be steering the finale back to the game and enthralling all those encapsuled in the gang war.

 

Publication Date: April 30

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.

Mera: Tidebreaker

meratidebreaker

Mera: Tidebreaker puts a strong woman front and center with a color scheme ripped straight from the ocean.

Mera is a princess of Xebel, an underwater world that has been invaded and controlled by Atlantis. Desperate to prove herself a patriot, Mera rebukes marriage for politics and decides to take action herself. Her father wants the hidden prince of Atlantis dead. The prince lives on land and is not aware of his lineage but his death would be a coupe for Xebel nevertheless. Over hearing her father ask her betrothed to kill Arthur, she takes her own dagger and heads to the surface. But the assassination is not as easy as it seems: Mera must adjust to the world above land. She must also learn that humanity has more depth than she ever thought.

I loved the art in this graphic novel. I am partial to red heads myself and love how colors are used to accentuate that hair color. It makes her stand out and stay strong. The basic blues and green were a great choice for her underwater world and then tinting Arthur’s world through her eyes. The lines are beautiful but not over done so the drawings aren’t busy.

Usually, I would be negative on the aspect of putting a romantic relationship into a story about a woman superhero. It bugs me that men become the focal point. But this story uses cultural differences and plays on expectations to show how people truly are. Mera learns that that blind faith in an ideal does not negate what people actually are.  This isn’t she met some man and now she fights (it’s okay in The Little Mermaid; not in m kick ass heroes),she actually develops as a character understanding the complex issues of politics and human nature.

Over all, I was pleased with Mera’s story. I was glad to see her portrayed with strength but the openness to change. I enjoyed seeing her interact with a variety of characters especially outside of a romantic theme. Mera: Tidebreaker puts a spot light on a character that the non-comic community doesn’t really know.

Publication Date: April 2

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.