Author: Kate Corcino
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Kate Corcino
Available: Amazon $0.99 (Kindle) 108 pages
A collection of three related short stories, Ignition Point offers a glimpse into the early lives of characters from the upcoming book, Spark Rising. (rater's note - Spark Rising is now out).
Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls--those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power--don’t exist. Not according to the Council.
“Ward” introduces Thomas, a thirteen-year-old boy rescued from Scavengers, marauding slavers who murdered both his biological and foster parents and sold the highly-powered boy to the highest bidder--the Council of Nine. Dumped at the Ward School to train his abilities, Thomas must learn to survive among a new breed of savages…the boys who have been training there since they were five and the men who must hone them into weapons.
“Blood and Water” is the story of Lucas, a young man who has spent his childhood shunned by his powerful, religious family for the crime of being born a Spark. On the cusp of discovering his power and place in the world his grandfather intends to re-shape, Lucas will discover the heavy price of belonging. Will he pay it, or will he count the costs and deem them too high?
“Ghost Story” shows how lives lived on the edge--of society, of safety, of sanity--can intersect. Lena, a highly-powered runaway, fled a life of hiding from the Council. Elias is one of the so-called New Barbarians, those who choose to live free lives outside the comfort of cities relying on comforts that should have died with the old civilization. Wounded and dying, he hunts the Scavengers who killed his people and took his brother to sell. A chance meeting in the desert of what was New Mexico may save them both.
What I liked:
Ward - 4*. I loved seeing this peek into the early lives of two main characters from Spark Rising, but I think it might read better for those who've read the novel already. It explains the history behind their quest for a better world.
Blood and Water - 5*. Even though I got a terrible sense of where this was going, it still didn't ease the real gut punch of an ending. This little short will leave you chilled, but shows how easy it is for someone to be emotionally manipulated into actions that they may have thought themselves incapable of, and of how we can even mislead ourselves.
Ghost Story - 5*. I loved seeing a snippet of Lena's live before Spark Rising, and really this is the best intro to SR if you read IP first.
What I didn't like:
Ward - the main character referred to his tragic recent past just a little too often and I lost some of my sympathy simply from the repetition. In a short story it really didn't need it.
Blood and Water - nothing to criticize.
Ghost Story - again, I really don't have anything bad to say about it.
If you love apocalyptic/dystopian fiction with a punch, but are looking for something with a new twist, this is for you and gives you a brief introduction into the world explored more fully in Spark Rising (although I'm tempted to say read SR before IP). This may be something for fans of the TV series The 100, or Dan Wells's Partials books. Quick, easy reads that will leave you thinking afterward. I loved these three little bonus stories showing more of the same world as Spark Rising, especially in terms of Alex and Lena. It explains so much of their characters in the follow-on novel.