Friday, July 21, 2017

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor - optional

Taylor, Janet B. Sparks of Light, 435 pages.  Houghton, 2017.  $17.  

Language: R (90+ swears, 4 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (sexual abuse, rape mentioned); Violence: PG-13 (deaths, medical torture)

Celia Alvarez and her minions are on their way to the past again – this time to con Nikola Tesla into creating a special device for them – one that will allow them to go back to the same point in time as many times that they like.  Hope Watson and the Viators have to stop them now, otherwise they will be helpless to thwart Celia moving forward.  So back to 1890’s New York they go – a time which has its own dangers for biracial Doug and for Hope, who can easily be accused of being a hysterical, unnatural woman who needs correction.

When the team goes back into the past, they only have 72 hours to complete their mission.  Taylor chooses to place Hope in a situation where rescuing her becomes the focus, instead of working on the mission.  While that makes sense in the first book where we were just beginning to meet Hope and the crew, I would have liked a book where she was part of the work, instead of a distraction.  So much of their time is spent on Hope, that the resolution to the mission is rushed and treated like an afterthought.  Taylor does reveal interesting new threats and enemies, but I wonder if she will take the time to explore them or if they will fall by the wayside in pursuit of focusing only on Hope.  And there is one big question I have, with the ensuing change in the timeline, but I can’t mention it here because it is a gigantic spoiler.

HS – OPTIONAL.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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