The Sparks

By: Kyle Prue
Narrated by: Jon Eric Preston
Series: Feud Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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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.

©2015 Kyle Prue (P)2017 Kyle Prue

Critic Reviews

"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)
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worldbuilding for the win

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

First, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I did not have any problems determining which character POV I was in. This is a 3rd person narrative with superb narration.

There are approximately five groups in the stories. The Emperor and his military, the normal humans and then the four families. I say five instead of six because one of the families aka the Lightborn, is presumed dead.

The narrators are the three children of the three families (primarily...here and there one of the other children is the POV.) Typically I find that very confusing, but Prue made this crystal-clear in his writing.

The story takes you into a feud that's been ongoing for centuries. But, as with many family feuds, the introduction of a more powerful outsider forces them to band together. This isn't an instant thing. The long-standing hatred is not glossed over. They don't trust easily.

Without completely spoiling the story, I'll just say there are twists and turns aplenty. The ending is what I would consider a cliffhanger, but I honestly didn't mind because it was enough of a wrap-up to satisfy me. And enough of an ending hook to make me immediately see if the next book was out.

The thing that really grabbed me was the consistency of the world building. Prue really has a talent for this. This did not remind me of anything else I've ever read. It does have quite a bit of violence in it so the more sensitive might want to look away. I never found the \ violence to be gratuitous.

So I will end with, please sir, may I have some more?

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Murder, Magical and Betrayal all in one place.

The first book of a series lays the most information on its’ characters. In The Sparks , author Kyle Prue not only gives great backstories he also tells plots inside of plots. To start off there are three feuding families. The Vapros who can teleport, the Celerius who heal quickly and have super speed and then the Taurlum family with incredible strength. These feuding families must join forces to upset the Emperor and his masked man with the army of assassins. The kids from the three families, Neil, Darius and Lilly must put aside their differences and work together to defeat the Emperor and defend the city of Altryon. In each chapter you are gifted with a different point of view. You get to see the different angles through the eyes of different characters. The kids are conditioned from birth to learn to kill the other families but now they have to learn to trust each other which in itself is very difficult. But as the story unfolds you see personalities develop and deeper relationships grow.
Kyle Prue is an exceptional storyteller. He builds this magical world right before your eyes. The characters are interesting and layered. He sucks you into this fantasy world. I appreciated the presence of strong women like Bianca, Jennifer and Victoria who were Neil’s sisters and friends. I look forward to the next book in the series. I don’t think you could have got a better narrator then Jon Eric Preston. He was amazing at interpreting several emotions. You could hear the anguish, the surprise, the anger and the triumph in his voice. He could produce the difference in the characters. Even the female voices. Between both Prue and Preston you are giving a magical experience that you won’t forget. I recommend you listen to this story to get the full effect on how amazing of a story it is. If not able to listen to it I recommend at least reading it. You will not be disappointed. An excellent book. Well Done!

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! Exciting, thrilling and many turns!

Wow! I’m honestly impressed with the detailed and descriptive writing that Kyle Prue offers. With each scene, I could see the colors of the character’s armor or cloaks, the size and shape of their weapons and the look on their faces.
I became so enthralled with this audiobook that I even added an extra walk to my nightly routine just so I could listen a little more, a little more.

A feud between three families escalates as they discover a common enemy, a ruthless common enemy who appears to stop at nothing to end them.
A young group of extraordinary teenagers blossom into territory unknown as they find heightened powers and perfect their skills of working their surroundings and the people around them to get what they want, sometimes simply to gather the information they need.

I was beginning to feel a sadness as this book ended because I wanted to hear more about the characters and what would ultimately become of them . . . And then the end gave us an excerpt of the next book in this trilogy!
Now I’m doing a happy dance as I realize I DO get to hear more and more about this journey and the developing characters.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Wow! A YA Fantasy book that adults will love, too!

Beginning with full disclosure: I had zero idea the author was a teen when I listened to this audiobook, and I'm certain it would not have impacted how impressed I was with the writing after learning of this fact upon finishing. This book is smart and Kyle Prue has a long, successful future as an author. The characters are described well (though I would have loved to get to know them a little more) and the settings are intriguing and cleverly articulated. I enjoyed that there was little in the way of typical scenarios and predictability for the genre, and especially loved that the protagonists are teens, yet their stories go back many generations because of their families' powers and legacy. Intrigue is nearly immediate and I was pulled into the storyline of centuries-long feuding families needing to consider a truce in a desperate attempt to avoid being wiped out completely by an unknown evil seemingly hunting them down.
Also of note was the audiobook actor, John Eric Preston, who was incredible in executing character emotions, enthusiasm and suspense.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and look forward to gifting this to my friends and family who enjoy the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Chronicles of Narnia legendary novels; they will be as impressed and entertained as I was.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic Story!

If you could sum up The Sparks in three words, what would they be?

Intelligent Introductory Adventure

Who was your favorite character and why?

Reese

What does Jon Eric Preston bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His narration brings the story to life.

Any additional comments?

This book kept me interested from the first page. This book was so well laid out that even with the complex storyline the action kept moving. Fabulous vocabulary. Can't wait for Flames.

1 person found this helpful

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Unexpected and awesome

I was blown away by the creativity that it took to set up the world and characters of the Sparks book (and series). A long time ago there was a battle within the world that would ultimately be a showdown that would allow a set of brothers to gain certain powers that would help them protect their community. However, like with so many things in the real world, fights broke out and the damage spreads fast. Whether its to have quick speed or skin that is impenetrable, each set of families has the ability to protect themselves and the knowledge to cripple the others. Because of the fighting, the families slowly die off, leaving just a handful here and there. The 3 teens who are to be the chosen ones so to speak to be given even more power have to figure out if they should struggle to continue the line of fighting, or put it aside and figure out how to build up their city and world once again. It's really fascinating because even though this is a sci-fi type world, it mimics many real-world issues. The struggle for power, how to defeat evil, but still build up the good, how to protect the innocent and so on. The same goes for the characters because they're so relatable, its easy to find yourself imagining being right next to them as they go on these adventures. Another layer of complexity is added when its read to you, like in an audiobook. I very much enjoyed this book, the narrator's voice added to the complexity of the story, again making it easy to imagine yourself fin this world. It's a fabulous audiobook and I'm so glad I got it in this form, as I was able to really get more into it than if I had read the ebook. So, so good!

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  • KM
  • 12-13-19

The Sparks

Neal Vapros faces his first deadly mission—the son of a prestigious family of assassins needs to make his first kill to cement his role. The sixteen-year-old is a bit too rash, and his failure plays a part in bringing a greater problem to the family than just embarrassment. Neal’s family, the Vapros, are one of three houses that are supposed to protect the city of Altrion, with each family gifted powers from The Man of Light. But other forces want to take advantage of the three families competition and warring, using the chaos to take power for themselves, starting war and death in the city. The best chance Neal has for survival is to team up with his enemies.

Prue has an amazing way of creating a big cast of important and fleshed out characters, environment, and a detailed past for the city of Altrion, weaving in background information in clever ways that makes the story and world grow with a really natural feel. The characters come to life with their actions, skills, and relationships, giving weight to their dangerous circumstances. I definitely cared by the end, and look forward to the next in the series.

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  • JP
  • 12-13-19

A fantastic start for this trilogy!

I’ve been dying for a good new series and I am so glad to say that I have found it! It’s sci-fi enough to keep my interest and spark my imagination, but so sci-fi that it’s too deep and I am turned off. It’s a very Capulet-Montague type of familial rivalry, but in includes three families. I am very impressed with this author and quite enjoyed the narrator as well. The narrator really makes the book for me and this performance was spectacular. Already have the next book, The Flames, on my ‘to listen’ list.

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Hooked

Kyle Prue has done a great job making Altryon come alive in "The Sparks." I was hesitant when other characters were introduced, with different powers and points of view in this mystical world. I don't typically follow these kinds of stories as well in audiobook form.

I so related to Neil. Wanting to prove yourself to your parents, your community, and not quite knowing how you fit in. I loved Lilly's dedication to her brothers and family. I loved how Darius wanted to believe in the goodness of his family.

I think my favorite character was Bianca. She was a tough chick who always knew what she wanted, and wasn't distracted by short-term conflicts.

Soon I was enveloped into Prue's world and hooked for the rest of the day. I think this was in large part due to the narrator's different voices. I could clearly identify who the different main characters were, and loved how different they were.

I loved the themes of this story -- putting differences aside to work together, family, growing up and finding your place in the world. I was surprised after finishing at how young Prue is, and loved his maturity in these words.

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exciting story, voice character narrator

The Sparks is a great first book in a series that will keep you wanting more. When I first started listening to The Sparks, I wasn't overly thrilled with the narrator. I actually hated it. I didn't really like the voices he was giving to the characters, they weren't what I'd hear in my own heard, or how I felt the story should be read. But after a little bit, learning more about each individual, I was able to let go of what I thought they should sound like and fully take in the narrator who is an amazing voice actor. He has an incredibly way of bringing certain characters to life... even if I didn't think a certain character sounded the way he conveyed. There were a couple of characters that I truly had a distaste for, and couldn't help but cringe when they were talking, and it was due to the fact that the narrator used his voice to make the character so slimy and despicable that anyone would want to stop listening. But in fact, I couldn't stop listening. I wanted to know what was going to happen to the Lightborne (kids), and find out their fate. In the same fashion as The Hunger games, The Sparks is a young adult /teen book that takes us on an adventure in a different world. This isn't a post apocalyptic world, but a world where three families of royalty, who hate each other, have been segregated and kept inside a large wall. When the so called government/military turns on them, the teens - who are the only members of the families left, decide to band together to save themselves.
I look forward to the second book and listening to it on my way to work each day. It is entertaining and intriguing with plenty of twists and turns and a hint of romance to satisfy any book lover. I highly recommend this book for any young adult, mature teen, or older reader. Due to graphic material, this book is not suited for children or younger ears. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Listening!