Hey guys! 🙂
Farhn Starchaser and Maria Grace in the Spark Form Chronicles novels. Cannon pairing who compliment each other well, with Fahrn’s bad-ass side dropping around Maria despite her best efforts to maintain her facade.
And being the ever curious person I am, I decided to check this couple out on Google only to come up with no results (I was mainly looking for fanart) so I asked about them. Turns out these two are characters from Doyle’s novel WICK, which can be purchased (and previewed) on Amazon.
Figuring the preview was free I mentioned I’d check it out and like I usually do, I decided to write up a post about the first couple pages.
Summary (from Amazon):
How do you define a life?
With overblown visuals, stunning entrances and bloody battles played out in real time by holograms, Spark Forming has become far more than a simple card game. Drawing in fans from across the Colonies, no other sporting event creates a bigger buzz than the annual two day tournament to crown a new Spark Form World Champion. Yet the scramble for the title is not the only source of conflict this year, and for some competitor’s the real battles will take place away from the TV cameras.
What defines a person’s life and drives them to keep moving forward? When a game grows to reflect a society struggling to hang on, are some lives more valid than others? Can an AI ever truly be alive?
Find out in Matt Doyle’s genre bending Slice of Life / Soft Science Fiction series, The Spark Form Chronicles.
As for my thoughts, I think I was more confused than entertained in the preview. We start off in the POV of John Forrestor, are given a time, and we know that he’s heading towards a changing room where he’ll meet someone named Carnival.
After that I’m not sure whats’ going on. Grabbing from the summary ‘bloody battles’ and from the opening sentences ‘sports arenas’ I kind of imagined a gladiator type scenario, especially when Forrestor mentions statues. I imagined an Oblivion tunnel like that in the arena phase but then it turned into something completely different.
We start getting into an office space and staff members but also keep with the visual of a race. Now I’m not 100% sure if here we deviate from the image of a stage and an audience, and move towards an office space or if this is an actual obstacle course in a race/tournament with levels.
The chapters are also done in different points of views and we get to know what I assume are five main characters (John Forrestor, Meera Thorne, Lana de la Cruz, Fahrn, and Connor). There are other characters introduced as well such as the makeup artist, one of the trainers (I believe), and a timid guy from the wardrobe department. I have to admit that some of the characters I just couldn’t connect with, even after reading their sections more than once. Two of those characters were Connor and John, possibly because of their meaner personalities.
Some others I could feel a stronger connection towards and I found myself wondering about their background and how they would develop as the story continued, such as Meera, who was the most self-conscious and timid of the bunch.
Introducing so many characters also made it hard for me to keep track of them as I hadn’t gotten used to them. Maybe if the sequence had been kept consistent I could have better followed who was who but Forrestor got extra chapters and then nearing the end of the preview we get something that’s more like third person narration.
Based on all of this I most likely won’t be continuing the story. There’s only one thing that actually makes me curious as to what may happen in the rest of the book and honestly, my attachment to Meera isn’t all that strong even though she’s the one I felt a better connection towards. Sentence structures were awkward in some places and I often found myself wondering when a sentence would end.
A few grammatical errors and possibly an italicization error (but I could be wrong). The reader is also bombarded with much information but not the one that I feel is essential in these opening chapters and that is, what is this tournament that everyone is talking about and getting ready for?
I will say that on Amazon this novel has a 4.6/5 ☆ and a 4.88/5 ☆ on Goodreads so things may start to flesh out as the chapters continue!