My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Scarlet is just like any other sixteen year old girl. She lives with her dad and they’ve recently moved to a new town. Scarlet has managed to nab a part time job at a local shop run by Mr. Chester, who is a bit eccentric, just like his wares. Everything is normal. Until one day, it’s not. Walking home from work Scarlet is caught off guard when she sees a man drowning by the lake, rushing to help him, she finds him naked and confused. He has no memory of anything, not even his name, but he knows he has a purpose. Fast-forward to the following day and Scarlet meets another man by the lake, only this one is not as kind as the first. He instantly takes to attacking her, calling her The Spark, and saying that she needs to be destroyed. Rushing to work, she finds much more than she bargained for. Her entire world turned upside down, what is a sixteen year old girl to do? Does she forfeit her own life on the chance that something bad will come to pass? Or does she do everything in her power to survive?
I was really surprised by this one, I think I received it as a freebie from an email and the cover caught my eye so I downloaded it quick snap. I don’t know why I always have low expectations of the books that I receive from these freebie emails, but I just do for some reason. In a way, I find that it’s probably a good thing, it means that I’m going into these stories with average expectations and constantly being blown out of the water by how great they turn out to be. This one was no exception.
The story line itself is definitely intriguing. Scarlet is only sixteen years old, in a way, it kinda reminds me of season one of Buffy, the last episode where Giles tells her that she will go against the master, and she will die. This is what kept flying through my head while reading this. Of course, this story isn’t anything like Buffy to be honest. Scarlet is just a normal girl who through no actions of her own, has been put in this awful situation where she is a tool that will be used to essentially bring about the end of humanity. So I can’t help but immediately feel for her. She did nothing at all to deserve any of this, all she did was exist, and through no want of her own. So the story is pretty compelling, to me anyway, this poor girl is just trying to do her best. She lives with an absent father who spends more time at work than with his own daughter, and she’s just going through the motions, having made no friends in her time in this new town, besides Mr. Chester and the other employee – Indy.
I found this to be a very character driven story, as I said, the reader instantly feels for the protagonist Scarlet, Sorrow – the first man found by the lake also made me feel for him. He knows that he has a purpose, and that he just wants to protect that which is innocent, yet remembers nothing. The Saint brings to mind good old Arnie as the Terminator. He’s unrelenting and will follow and carry out his mission no matter what. He doesn’t seem to have emotions and I instantly hated and feared him. I’ve always had a small fear of the terminator, never stop, never die, type characters, if you can’t kill them, what else can you do honestly?
The story was very fast paced and was full of action from the word go. I’m not 100% sure if there is a follow up story to this one, but I kinda hope there is or will be eventually. I’m interested to see where Scarlet’s story goes from here, as it’s left open ended enough for there to be a follow up. I’m also interested in the continuation of Mr. Chester’s story. He became an interesting character with a full back story. I’m left intrigued and wanting more which to me, is a great advertisement for a story. This is a story of good VS evil where the lines are blurred, who really is good? And are the ‘bad guys’ really that bad? It goes to show that nothing is ever quite black or white, but varying shades of grey.