Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sparks of Light, by Janet B. Taylor. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017

I can’t make my mind up about this book. On one hand, some parts- like the part in the mental hospital- are very good, intense, and frightening. You can feel what kind of despair that the women in asylums back then would have felt- they may not have had evil time traveling doctors, but the treatments were just as bad. Other parts, like the amount of time spent dealing with clothing, are kind of given too much time and break the mood. Of course, the girls *are* teenagers, so being excited over clothes would be normal. But it really kills the tense mood.

I didn’t realize that this book was the second of a series when I got it, so I was a little lost about the situation. It got filled in pretty well through the book, though, so I wasn’t completely lost, but it took me a while to get my bearings.

Hope, brought up in isolation, now has a family. They are teenaged time travelers living in Scotland. Her mother has been rescued from the Middle Ages, where she was stranded, and is now suffering from PTSD. Hope has a boyfriend for the first time in her life- well, it’s the first time she has friends of any kind. She’s still getting the hang of this family and friends thing, so she has bouts of jealousy that show her immature side, but she’s doing her best.

The group’s mission is to go back to Gilded Age New York, and steal or destroy a device that, if it fell into the hands of a rival group of time travelers, could allow them to change the time line- something that Hope’s group strives to avoid. This involves the mental hospital event, a grand ball at the Vanderbilt’s, and meetings with Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and the unhappy Consuelo Vanderbilt among others. There are lots of frantic carriage rides, intense reunions, and one extremely sad event. It’s a good book, I think, but it really needed an editor. Four stars out of five. 

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1 comment:

  1. I do like reading about the Gilded Age New York but think I will pass on this one