Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
I just turned the last e-page of A Spark of White Fire and all I can say is WOW... THAT WAS AWESOME!!!
It was a perfect blend of SciFi and Fantasy. I have been craving Space Opera reads lately and this book was everything I wanted and more. I am not well versed in Indian Folklore so I had no idea what to expect going in BUT I think it was better not knowing ahead of time what the building blocks were and just letting the story unveil itself as Mrs. Mandanna saw fit.
I loved every aspect of this tale! Besides the one time I gently tossed the ereader, not being able to bear witness to another word of what Esmae was scheming (against the wrong person I might add), I fervently tore through the rest of the book with wild abandonment. Hours passed by in what seemed like mere blinks... one minute I'm at 1% and just settling in, the next thing I see when I look down, it says 92% and I'm begging for my ereader to be wrong.
I was extremely impressed with the trifecta of awesomenes...the Writing, the Character development and last but in no way shape or form least, the World building. The writing was gorgeously done, not overly flowery or loquacious. The characters were detailed, complex and downright corporeal. I loved nearly all of them and those that I didn't, I wasn't meant to. I especially liked Esmea and Max. Their burgeoning magnetism was sweet, transcendent yet still seemed fragile and tentative in the way that all new relationships do. Their coupled aura simply oozed the mellow tones of being perfectly matched. Apart they were okay but together they were a force to be reckoned with. I really like them as a team so... fingers crossed. Then there were those charismatic, meddlesome, not quite omnipotent gods. Amba and Kirrin were likeable...for mischievous know-it-alls. Their best attributes were their affection and constant presence in the lives of a(n) (un)lucky few. The gods gave out Boons for the strangest things. For one such recipient, who aquired it by not speaking a single peep for 10 whole years, he was given the formidable Gods made sentient spaceship (who happened to be another favorite character) Titania. The plot could definitely have benefited from more of her/it in the story.... maybe in part 2?
Let me touch on the subject of the world building. The Whit Fire universe was populated with wondrous new planets, galaxies, nebulae as well as the prerequisite for all good SciFi-Space Opera chimeras...futuristic technology. It was beautifully imaginative. I can barely fathom a more enrapturing retelling of this tale of Abandonment, Acceptance, Hope, Love and ultimately Betrayal and Loss. I cried... that's right, I said it... I cried and I'm not ashamed to admit it. The death of a much beloved character tends to do that to me... I'm only human. Give this one a shot and I bet that if you have even just a lentil bean of a soul rattling around in there, you too will be moved if not to tears then definitely to sniffles by the end.
Overall: I LOVED this one!!! It's yet another book going straight to my favorites list. I have been very lucky lately with my reads and this one is definitely near the top of the list. I can not reccomend this highly enough. I wish there were more stars in the rating system to give this story of Hope/Tragedy/budding Love and Rage... so much rage against the backdrop of awe inspiring cosmos.
If you are looking for a seamless SciFi Space Opera, Fantasy mashup... if you are into amazingly imaginative new envisionings of folklore... if you love stories of underdogs prevailing against great odds... of gods meddling with the affairs of mortals... of Royal intrigue, power plays and war... then look no further!! This should be at the tippy top of your TBR tower!