Sunday, September 7, 2014

Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke

Series: Between (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Paranormal Romance/Gothic Fantasy

Subjects: winter, supernatural, abilities, horror, mystery, road trips, adventure, travel

Setting: Echo, Maine, then Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, past tense: Violet White

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 320 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Penguin: Dial

Summary/ product description: “The conclusion to Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea, this gothic thriller romance with shades of Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier is a must-read for fans of Beautiful Creatures and Anna Dressed in Blood.

Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
But then, the Devil once told me that it's easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he'd done both to me.

The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet's life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River's other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn't long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .”

My Review:  Between The Spark And The Burn is the sequel to Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, and the final book in the Between Duology. Similar to the first book, it has a dreamy quality with a lyrical and whimsical writing style. Eve though it’s set in contemporary times, it has gothic undertones. Some of thing that happen or characters do don’t seem like the way things are in real life. Echo, Maine is a small town, and Violet lives at the Citizen Kane mansion, which is at the edge of the ocean.

Her parents are both paintings, and must make money off of their painting because it seems like it’s all they do. They also apparently travel to Europe a lot and leave Violet and her twin brother alone without anyone else. Phone bills don’t get paid and taxes on the mansion are high. Violet’s best friend is named Sunshine and her parents are librarians. You can see what I mean by unrealistic lifestyle here. Also Violet’s obsessed with her dead grandma Freddie’s past.

Despite all the strangeness of these books, I still end up completely enjoying them. Sometime books are to weird for me, mostly because they become confusing and hard to follow. These books are easy to read and you just have to go with the flow. The book never mentions what the Redding boys (River, Neely and Brodie) are, but people call them devil boys. The have this ability they call the glow/spark/burn and they can control, compel and influence people. Mess with people’s minds and get a crazy high off it. Neely doesn’t have this ability like River and Brodie do. Jack, their half-brother, doesn’t appear to have it either. I’d like to assume that their dad was a demon or part-demon, or even a demi-god of some sort. Maybe these boys are incubi or male siren. We never find out, and that’s what disappoints me.

 I absolutely love the creepy atmosphere of these book. The first one was set in summertime, in Maine. This one is set in winter and start out in Echo, Maine, then Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado, then back to Maine. I love book that have a specific time of year and also books that are about road trips, being on the run or searching across country for something. I like it when there are real places, but fictional places in real states are okay too. There’s this town they go to in Virginia, in the mountains, that’s secluded and old-timey. The people there believe in witches and devils and sacrificing pigs blood to their ancestors. Another town on a North Carolina island has wild horses, much like the Chincoteague in Virginia (Remember that horse called Misty?).  Then in Colorado there’s an old mining town that they stay in a hotel that’s an ex-brothel. Made me think of a Ghost Adventure episode.

Then the romance. Neely and Violet start having feeling for each other and kiss a few times while tracking down River and Brodie. There are less romantic scenes from the first book, but I kind of think I would like Violet and Neely to end up together. Violet may be good for River, but Neely is good for Violet. He doesn’t mess with her or lie to her. Also we get to meet new characters. There’s a boy that Violet and Neely save and a girl they meet in North Carolina. All is not what it seems though in this book. You’ll have to read to find out the great big mystery. I recommend this book to fans of books by Maggie Steifvate, Brenna Yovannoff or Kate Karys Quinn.

Cover Art Review: I love the typography on this cover. The mountain and the winter scenery are also very stark images and eye catching. The first book had a great color two. They’re distinct and similar.

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