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The Sparks  By  cover art

The Sparks

By: Kyle Prue
Narrated by: Jon Eric Preston
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Publisher's Summary

Honor does not bend. A will of iron does not break. Victory lies within the ashes.

The Vapros, the Taurlum, and the Celerius: three dynasties bound by an ancient promise, and given superhuman abilities to protect the city of Altryon from the dangerous world beyond its walls. The Vapros have the ability to teleport and turn their enemies to ash, the Celerius have super speed and the ability to heal from any wound, the Taurlum have skin like steel and godlike strength. Centuries of petty infighting have turned the families against each other, resulting in a secret war. A powerful emperor now rules over all, as the families have been weakened by massive casualties.

Sixteen-year-old Neil Vapros desperately wants to become an assassin to please his hypercritical father. After failing his first mission, Neil learns that a sinister new force has awakened. This mysterious new power threatens to shatter the established order and threaten the lives of everyone in Altryon - regardless of their family name or allegiance.

About the Author

Kyle Prue is an award-winning author, actor, and comedian. Prue wrote The Sparks when he was just 16 years old. He will complete the series with The Flames and The Ashes.

©2015 Kyle Prue (P)2022 Kyle Prue

Critic Reviews

IndieFab Award

Best Book in Florida and Best Fiction for Young Adults

Honorable Mention at the New England Book Festival

Honorable Mention at the Midwest Book Festival

Honorable Mention at the Southern California Book Festival

Honorable Mention at the International London Book Festival

International Moonbeam Award for Best Young Author

"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)

What listeners say about The Sparks

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well crafted story

Three families were given superhuman powers to protect the city of Altryon from the dangers beyond its walls.  Over the years, a blood feud ensues forcing the families to fight and become sworn enemies of one another.  Like all families, the children have different ideas, wants and desires; it is this that ensures the families might survive the evil emperor and his friend who is a new superhuman.

Joining forces, the surviving Vapros (assassins that teleport and turn people into ash), The Taurlum (steel like skin and godlike strength) and the Celerius (super speed and self-healing powers), they hope to free their families from the dungeons and expel the evil emperor.   For some that is not enough, they want to end the blood feud forever but freeing their families may prevent this for each family holds true to their version of honor, will, and what constitutes victory.

I enjoyed this book very much.  It was easy to see how an entire town could be fooled into believing they were the only ones on the planet; anything outside their walls were savages and deadly based on a highly and effectively promoted idea.

Isolating people is the number one way a leader can step into position and abuse their power.  The emperor did this effectively.  The manner in which the remaining families came together was well done and realistic.  I am looking forward to books 2 and 3.

The author, Kyle Prue did an excellent job of crafting the story line and developing the characters.  I enjoyed the bantering back and forth and the final scene of the remaining survivors coming together.  The character’s behaviors as each hurdle was discovered and faced was realistic demonstrating clearly how difficult egos can be and what it takes to get past them.

The narrator, Jon Eric Preston performed the book very well.  His does not do female voices well but they were different enough that they were acceptable.  I thought he spoke clearly and inferred excitement, loss, sorrow, love, hate, and other emotions very well through the tone inflections.  His voice was calming and soft which was pleasant.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, adventure and action packed stories.

There were no issues around the audible production or quality of this book.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

4 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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Loved it

The Sparks By: Kyle Prue was a really good audiobook. I personally found it to be a great listen as I really like the assassin premise of the book. I personally quite liked Neil Vapros as a character and I can not wait to see him in the next book in the series!! I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Books Forward. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Fun Read

The Sparks by Kyle Prue is a fascinating first entry in a trilogy that shows a great deal of promise. Read on for my thoughts on this novel, and whether or not you should dive into this world of feuding and fantasy.

It’s hard to believe that Kyle Prue wrote The Sparks when he was 16 because of the mature, complex, and adult nature of this book. I’d argue that calling it Young Adult isn’t the wisest idea because if I were a parent, I wouldn’t want my child reading such a mature book that deals with multiple murders, sex, and other realities of life that can shatter an individual’s innocence. Nevertheless, The Sparks is an excellent novel that is well written, masterfully narrated, and beautifully produced.

Focused on three feuding families, with the threat of savages outside the city walls, The Sparks borrows elements of The Pillars Of The Earth and The Maze Runner. Those two books are far superior to The Sparks, but at least the author drew inspiration from high-quality stories that are beloved.

It was hard for me to keep all of the characters straight because there are so many. Because of this, Neil is the only one who I could keep track of at all times and the one I related to the most.

As a result of my inability to invest in the characters because of there being so many, I never felt moved or upset when one of them died. The Hunger Games, on the other hand, did a beautiful job with character development, causing me to be sorrowful over the demise of a key character.

The Sparks also features a supernatural element, where characters have superpowers. This makes for an interesting twist on this familiar story, and the author does a fine job of describing this otherworldly behavior.

John Eric Preston narrates The Sparks, and he does an exceptional job. His voice is silky smooth, with an accent perfectly suited for this tale. Not only does he speak the words on the page, he inhabits each character, providing fantastical voices and a distinct separation between them, effortlessly weaving back and forth in what can only be described as vocal gymnastics. It’s one hell of a performance, and John Eric Preston’s narration takes this work of fiction from good to great.

This audiobook sounds crystal clear. The audio levels always seemed stable, and I didn’t detect any mistakes or pick up on the narrator turning pages or anything like that. It is a top-tier audio production, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the story.

The Sparks is a great first entry in a trilogy of books that I look forward to continuing to read. I’m delighted that I chose to listen to the audiobook because the superb narration elevated the already intriguing material to a higher level. For adults, this is a book worth listening to at least once, if not multiple times. For children . . . well, I’ll leave that up to the parents to decide. Either way, fire up this audiobook, throw on your favorite headphones, and enjoy!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kyle Prue. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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relaxing and fun

I super enjoyed the story and was able to listen at work. I can't wait to listen to the next !

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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!