"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. From the court of Napoleon III to the underground tunnels of Paris, Katharine will have to decide how a dangerous weapon might be kept from both a queen and an emperor, and whom she can trust –if anyone– to help make Uncle Tully safe once and for all."
What a delight to revisit some of the characters from The Dark Unwinding in this suspenseful, intriguing, and twisty-turny story! The Dark Unwinding was one of my favorite reads of 2012, so it's little wonder I was eager to read A Spark Unseen. Happily, it turned out to be a wonderful sequel, building off of the great characterization from the first book and providing its own surprising adventure.
I absolutely love the mood Cameron sets in these books - created by that combination of mystery, history, romance, and a healthy dose of the unusual and unexpected. The core characters are loyal, determined, and smart, although not without making some unwise choices along the way. Katharine is no "shrinking violet" - despite her desire to remain hidden away from society, she can't seem to help but draw attention, and she certainly can't seem to keep quiet when she feels something needs to be said (or done). Her boldness is balanced well with a display of her weaknesses and fears, making her a great first-person POV heroine to follow.
While this book has its own feel to it and could possibly be enjoyed fine alone, I highly recommend reading The Dark Unwinding first. One, because it's a fascinating read! Two, because Katharine's quest and certain developments of this story have more of an emotional impact, I believe, if you're familiar with relationships begun in the first book.
The beginning had me intrigued, but the middle and end had me hooked - shocked at every turn, and even a little teary in parts. I loved watching all the cogwheels being fitted into place, the spinning story growing with each new piece. While The Dark Unwinding holds a special place in my heart with it being the first and with how much it impressed me, A Spark Unseen didn't disappoint at all. Some great lines, great twists, and a little sweetness and understanding mixed in...and we have the right conditions for a spark to ignite!
*With thanks to Scholastic Press and NetGalley for providing me with a temporary e-ARC of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
This book will be available September 24, 2013.