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Spark (Swipe Series) by Evan Angler
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Spark (Swipe Series)

by Evan Angler

Series: Swipe (4)

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??1/2 rounded up to 3

In the fourth book of this dystopian, post-rapture y/a series we meet some new characters, such as Ali of-no-name, the Baras who flee Greece for Switzerland and Ali's cohorts. There is still plenty of action and intrigue, but for an adult reader, there are some rather obvious things, such as who a new character named Uncle Nico really is. Ali, or Aliyah, is sold when she is four because her mother cannot afford to feed her, and the person that bought her promised her a better life; that life turned out to be to live as a beggar and to meet a daily quota or face the frightening consequences. We meet her at nine when she discovers she is the Toter of Light and she ends up being chased down by the IMPS in order to try and tap her talents. We also see the childhood of the new world ruler, Chancellor Cylis (short for a word meaning "jumping spider.") We see very little of our familiar characters, particularly in the first half of the book, but we do meet a sentient artificial intelligence who leads Ali through what we'd call now the internet.

Sentient artificial intelligence and humans minds zipping around the world via cyberspace are not my cup of tea at the best of times, thus the lower rating. I find this combined with the whole concept of a Christian dystopian novel rather odd. However, my son will probably like this significantly better than I did, and it's a series I'm reading along with him. ( )
  Karin7 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Sneak
Summary: Ali is a street beggar who lives in an old run down hotel with a group of other street beggars. But Ali is special. She has an ability that nobody else in the world can even come close to. For some reason she can control all technology. It doesn’t matter if that technology has not worked in a century, or if it is still up and running, if it is any bit technological she can control it. The only problem with this is that the government wants to have this power so that they can not only rule the world physically but they can also rule it virtually, and they will do anything to get it. Eventually Ali gets adopted by a loving person who takes great care of her and lets her feast, have a hot bath every night, and even go to virtual school. At virtual school, she finds a glitch in the program that lets her enter cyberspace. There she meets the Ultranet who she then nicknames Mother (because it took the shape of her mom). The Ultranet tells Ali all about her powers and how it wasn’t really Ali that had the power it was the Ultranet who was just doing all of that stuff for Ali. After spending a while with Mother (the Ultranet) Ali’s nice (sort of like a father started asking a lot of questions about the Ultranet. Mother warns Ali about him but it is too late. Her nice loving (almost) father is not who she thinks it is.

Review: Sneak was a pretty good book. It was boring throughout most of the book, and it didn’t get good until about the last 75ish pages. The ending was not was not what I was expecting and just like the previous book in the series it had quite a few twists. It wasn’t the best book I have read and the only reason I didn’t stop reading it was because I wanted to know how it ended because all of the other books in its series have had pretty good endings. I would recommend this book to anyone who has a lot of time on their hands and who have read the rest of the books in the series. Overall I didn’t like it that much, but that is just my opinion. ( )
  DylanM.B1 | May 30, 2014 |
The fourth installment of the SWIPE Series! I've been waiting a very, very long while to get my hands on this amazing book!

Ali Without a Name lives in the Dark Lands, where power has never run through the lines for years, and where the GU hardly touches. But when she's locked in a closet at night for punishment, something gets inside, and the lights begin turning on. Quickly afterwards, IMPS swarm the place, threatening everything that Ali could ever call home. For some reason, the lights are leading her through the Dark Lands, but how does she know she can trust them? Her strange connection with the lights is nearly forgotten when a certain "Good Samaritan" steps into her life, but things change quickly when someone…and someone feared…is planning to Swipe her.

This book was different, I must say first off. The reader may think he's getting back with the Dust, and Logan, and Peck, and Erin, but things are different. Evan Angler tells us that the story must shift for a while to tell the rest of the story, so he's travelled to the Dark Lands to see what lies there. This is the story of what he's found.

I like Ali, she's a good, well-written character that you feel for, she's just not Dust, who I miss greatly. *sniff* But she's definitely necessary for the story to progress. Logan's stuck in a BMI, remember? Floating around with this disembodied voice in the clouds. Peck has gone off to "find himself" or whatever, and the Dust have fallen back. It's time to shift.

I have this bizarre emotional tie to this series--no, I can't explain it; if you'd seen me reading these you'd be concerned--but I trust the author with his story without question. I had FAITH that my favorite characters would return, so I REFUSED to look ahead. :) :) :) :) *grinning broadly now…* However, as I read this book, I felt that Evan Angler was itching to get back to his characters too. The writing was good, but not as gripping as it normally was. He was itching to get passed this part as best as he could so he could tell you about the next big thing with the characters we all know and love.

[SPOILERS] I would read this book whenever I got the chance, so after school in a quiet room, in the middle of Spanish III class when they were taking a test (I'm auditing, so no, I had permission), etc. I'd come across something so amazing, I'd just sit there for three whole minutes with my hand over my mouth, breathing deeply through my nose, and basically acting like a girly One Direction fan. Yes, it's pathetic.

Why would I geek? [SPOILERS] When the author abruptly revealed the shadowy timeline this book was running through, and how long the time had passed between now and book 3, I about lost it. Because… that disembodied voice Logan talked to? Angler suddenly revealed it so PERFECTLY it was all I could do not to scream. Also, you could tell the author was hooting with pleasure when he revealed who the stranger (who'd followed Ali through the whole book) really was. I guessed it right after I figured out how old everyone was then. I think Evan Anlger likes to make you think Peck is bad, because he's done it twice now (love it!) My favorite character is Peck, so I was looking for an eighteen year old boy I suspected went to the Dark Lands. Not so! He's twenty-one now, and going to rescue Ali from this so-called "Good Samaritan", who in reality is Cylis--DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING! The Cylis part, at least. :) :) :) *fan girl scream* NO. Shut up. No screaming. Calm…write….

So the end, to be brief, really picked up and dragged you around by your throat. :D

The thing that confuses me though was the Ultranet. I wasn't too keen on that "character" in the book. For some reason she felt a little too much like an allegory for Jesus, which we all know would not work in an End Times novel (and although it isn't really female, it's portrayed more female than male, so yeah.) I think what Angler was doing though was just using applicability, not allegory. He knew an allegory wouldn't work, so he decided to throw in little lessons for the reader, because not only did the Ultranet feel slightly deistic, but Uncle Dominic did too at some points (but that makes more sense, obviously).

I have no idea what Evan Angler is planning next, but I am so ready to find out!!!

Things to watch out for:
Language: G-1 (could be a real cry to God, but it's debatable), made up curse words against the Markless that they embrace as characteristics of themselves, i.e. skinflint and misers
Violence: plenty of shooting and talk of mental torture, some people talk about the stranger leaving destruction in his wake
Other: End Times genre might scare younger readers, not everything seems to line up biblically (such as the time of the rapture and the seven years of tribulation) ( )
  Jenneth | Dec 29, 2013 |
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Nine-year-old Ali, a beggar living in the Dark Lands city of al-Balat, crosses paths with exiled Logan Langly, Chancellor Cylis, and the fierce battle for power that spans reality and the virtual world.

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