Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

Title: A Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding #2)
Sharon Cameron
Publisher: Scholastic
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: September 24, 2013

The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron's blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.

My Review

A Spark Unseen is the sequel to to last year's The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. Katharine Tulman has grown up a little (it's been a year or two since the events in the first book), and dear Uncle Tully is still what most people would consider to be insane. Unfortunately, an invention from the last novel proves that Uncle Tully is a genius, and two governments are after him. It becomes necessary for Katharine, Mary, and the wonderful lawyer Mr. Babcock to "kidnap" Uncle Tully, fake his death, and whisk him away from Paris. There is intrigue, murder, betrayal, bothersome neighbors, a hot French guy, and an imperial ball. Oh, and the hired help isn't as creepy by half.

I enjoyed A Spark Unseen more than its predecessor, probably because the main character was not constantly questioning her sanity. Katharine has a clear head (for the most part) throughout the novel and must do her best to enter Parisian society while looking for Lane - all while keeping her uncle hidden. The help in this novel is also nowhere near as scary as in The Dark Unwinding, but the family Katharine found in the house is still not anyone that I would've liked coming home to. As with TDU, you could never tell whether many of the new characters were good or bad, but it lacked the tension. (Trust me, I enjoy it a lot better when I'm not trying to read ahead because of anxiety attacks.) Plot twists were also plentiful, but not to the point of confusion. I liked the writing in this novel a lot. The one thing thing that was "meh" about the story was the resolution of the romance. It was far too easy, and I don't think the one-sided knowledge was really fair.

Cameron's writing in A Spark Unseen sucked me in and transported me to Victorian England and Paris. The descriptions of everything from the house in Paris, the side streets, and the catacombs made me feel like I was right there with Katharine. One of my favorite scenes of the book was Napoleon III's ball, which I could almost see. The descriptiveness was beautiful.

I'm glad I did not skip A Spark Unseen since I liked it so much better than the first book. I think any fans of historical fiction and mysteries of all ages will enjoy the series.

- 4/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.


  1. I was asked about the tour of this and was on the fence, just because my schedule is so full, but if you liked it even more than the first, I definitely need it in my life!

  2. The first wasn't my favorite book, but the writing in it was good. I think I was thrown off by not knowing whether or not Katharine was mad because I have to know if I'm dealing with an unreliable narrator. I think you'd enjoy it since you liked the first, but it isn't nearly as creepy or tense.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!