Spark City: The Spark City Cycle, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The Hunt is coming.
Despite his warriors' lineage, Erroh would rather waste his potential stumbling alone from one tavern to the next, drinking and gambling. Fate, however, has greater plans for him.
After decades of peace, a great war draws near, and though he doesn't know it, he is standing in the way of the first wave. What is more, and very much to his dismay, he's about to find out he's not entirely alone either. But Erroh has a plan, a simple plan.
It'll never work.
A reluctant coming of age epic packed with heroic sword fights, fierce battles, and slow-burn romance. Perfect for fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson, find out why thousands of readers have fallen for Amazon number one best-selling author Robert J Power's epic fantasy series.
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|Listening Length||18 hours and 3 minutes|
|Author||Robert J. Power|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||March 24, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #20,415 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#90 in Magical Realism Fiction
#839 in Magical Realism
#1,132 in Epic Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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This book may be more appealing to the readers of romances but if you are looking for good fantasy story you will not find it here.
Spark City is a fantasy set in a distant future after some apocalyptic disaster which is so vaguely hinted at that the world for all intents and purposes behaves like a classic medieval fantasy setting. The theme is about growing up and finding your place in a society which holds a lot of things secret and taboo. It is nicely developed through two characters being elaborately selected as each other's mates and partners for life and then sent out on a fool's errand. The amount of thought and space dedicated to describing the awkward and immature emotions of two youngsters brought together for the purpose of successful reproduction is refreshing, especially as a contrast to how often in fantasy and sci-fi romantic emotions are portrayed as if we all were in an American High School.
Otherwise, the book delivers a nice, if not masterfully developed plot of growing suspense and of having to fight seemingly insurmountable odds in a hostile and mysterious world. The pacing of events with all its twists and turns is engaging, and the many action scenes are well written. I liked both main characters. They are given enough complexity and emotional depth to not just be stand-ins for the readers daydreaming of being a semi-superhuman elite warrior, even if those fantasies are definitely catered for. The world seems rich at first, but then as I neared the end of the story, I have to admit I started to suspect that a lot of what I took for mysterious delays was probably nothing more than indecision on part of the writer. Even so, Spark City was mostly enjoyable and a fun read.
Only mostly, and I’m sorry to say, it could easily have been much better. I say easily because all it lacks is a good run through or two by an honest and stern editor. When I say that the book needs an editor, I don’t mean to criticise the language it is written in. Its English is, at least as far as I can tell, mostly without flaws. But the literary craft is hampering behind.
There are so many small but annoying mistakes in the book, that it seriously detracts from the flow of the story. The worst is a constant jumping and switching of POW without following any foreseeable rules or structure. When you for the umpteenth time has to re-read a passage to figure out who said and then thought what, especially in the many otherwise interesting relationship quarrels between the main characters, it is hard to keep your focus in the text, and not on it. There are plenty of other, small idiosyncrasies that a good editor would help correct too, but the none-use of basic perspective consistency is the biggest problem.
If I thought that the writer might read this review (which, given that it is an indie publication, he might very well do), I would seriously recommend him to get an editor to read and correct his book for him. Spark City is fundamentally decent, and the problems lie mostly on the surface, but sadly enough, they are big enough to often mask the underlying qualities. It’s a bit like if you cooked a lovely meat stew but then forgot to salt it. What a shame really. And if, which I know to be the case for many indie writers, myself included, the money to pay a professional editor just isn’t there, I would warmly recommend a good self-editing handbook, like for example Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. I know it helped me a lot.
So why a 3 star rating? The book does a poor job of balancing out the fighting with the romance.... a bit too much romance and not enough fighting. Now sometimes a bit too much of one thing over the other in this dynamic is ok...as long as that other thing is entertaining enough. The issue is that other thing, while being of quality, didn't provide enough overall entertainment. The romance in this book is drawn out...and that's typically how we want it to be as a reader. But with a slow...seemingly non existent romance at first, you need other elements albiet action, adventure, comedy etc. to fill in the void.
The book never provided this...so it didnt' get good until the last quarter of the book or so when the love materialized and the violence became more prelavent.
With that being said this is worth reading...3 stars isn't bad and based on how this book ends i'm assuming book 2 will be better and have more of a proper balance between romance and action.
Top reviews from other countries
I like the story line, I loved the action, the main character is really good and interesting.
Unfortunately for me, I found the counter story of love and intimacy far to involved and detailed! (No actual sex content)
None of the book is badly written it just seems a strange mix of love and war with more emphasis on love that war.
I found this book hard to mark with stars because I did enjoy it but probably skipped 30% of the pages.
However regardless of my 3 star rating I will buy the next book .
— ummm. No. Not even remotely comparable.
“#1 Best Seller in Historical Norse & Icelandic Fiction”
— it’s neither historical nor Norse nor Icelandic.
The story is ok, but there appears to have been *no* editing. At least, not by anyone who’s any good at English. That’s a shame, because the author writes as if English isn’t his mother tongue. The prose is full of typos, contorted and clumsy phrases, nonsense and grammatical errors.
To see reviews starting with “well written, but ...” is worrying. Or “concerning” in today’s English :-(
Quotes from the first few pages (it gets worse later):
The last of the sun’s rays disappeared under the horizon and the final flickers of natural light escaped through the one grubby, cracked window of “The Rats Nest Tavern”.
Erroh glanced above and absently counting the little bright dots.
He lit a candle and shined it over the shelves...
Alcohol was the blood of this world and brewing great yielding alcohol was a fine way to make money.
I don't want to bore you with descriptions of what happens, how the main characters are etc, they are people here doing a far better job of that than I can, however the 2 main characters are some of the best I've ever read. Their interaction is lovely to read about, it really reminded me about how myself and my wife were right at the start of our marriage. There are people who don't seem to like the romance part of this story but it was one of the more enjoyable parts of the book for me, the characters are FUNNY, their flaws are actually amusing, you can relate to them. The action scenes are great and Errol the lead part is just fantastic, for someone so skilled with the sword but who doesn't really want to fight is a refreshing change.
The author reminds me of David Gemmell, an author sadly missed by this reviewer, there are morals aplenty in both authors and at last I've found someone who can replace David now he's no longer with us.
Can't wait for the third book and yes that will mean I'll have to reread both books again, which I looking forward too if I'm honest.
Love the books Robert, keep em coming pal.
This was full of action, emotion and real characters with good and bad actions and thoughts. We follow a young hero growing, struggling with his world and the people in it. Meeting his heroine/life mate is fraught with love, despair, jealousy, anger and uncertainty so that you live it with them.
The dramas during their travels are varied and tense, everything nail biting to the last paragraph. I wish this had been around in my youth.
Robert J Power thank you for enlivening my 75th year.
I have upgraded the rating from one to two stars purely due to the last 10% of the book. The last 10% is what I assumed the entire book would be, and could maybe be classed as 4.5 star rated book. Unfortunately it takes until the last 10% for it to stop being a romantic adventure book and start being an action-fantasy book.
I will caveat my one star rating by saying if you are looking for a romance book with a splattering of action-fantasy, then this book may very well be five stars and right up your alley.
However if, like me, you read the synopsis and expected an action-fantasy book - maybe it has romance, maybe it doesn't, but that by no means dominates the entire book - sort of like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, or Martin’s Game of Thrones or Sanderson's Elantris, then you will hate this book.
This book seems to be 80-90% about the protagonist's romantic life with the occasional fight scene thrown in as filler.
So disappointing and the last time that I listen to an Amazon recommendation that pops up. I will stick to waiting for friends to recommend action-fantasy books to me.