Author: C.M. McGuire
Genre/s and Tags: Young Adult, Paranormal/Supernatural, Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Sapphic characters, Asexual character, Casual queer rep
Content Warnings: Violence, anxiety/panic attacks, mental illness (minor character has hallucinations), parental loss
Publication date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Swoon Reads
A teen outcast must work together with new friends to keep her family and town safe from murderous Fae while also dealing with panic attacks, family issues, and a lesbian love triangle in C.M. McGuires’s kick-butt paranormal YA debut, Ironspark.
For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.
Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.
But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.
When I first saw this book, I was immediately taken by that striking cover. And upon reading the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book!
Packed with action and mystery, Ironspark is a great paranormal read that features mythology, family, friendship, and queer romance.
My thoughts on Ironspark
First thing I want to say is that this book will not deny you of exhilarating action scenes and suspenseful moments. From the first chapter until the end, it was undeniably an action-packed journey.
I also loved that this story featured Welsh mythology, specifically the faes. I did not expect that! Faes in this book were rooted in the mythology, and it showed that there were both kind ones and devious ones that can cause people harm. I thought the world-building and the magic system were thought through and I really enjoyed diving into that.
When it comes to the characters, they seemed not entirely fleshed out. I didn’t love them, but I also didn’t hate them, and yet, I couldn’t quite fathom them individually. On the other hand, I do appreciate that Bryn is a flawed main character. She has so much to learn and so much to do (especially with that ending!), and I want to see her grow and achieve what she came to do.
Family also a big part of the plot. Bryn’s resentment of faes started when they kidnapped her mother and cursed her father, and now they’re once again threatening them. A lot of her actions and decisions were because of her family and what she was willing to do for them. At the same time, family can also be secretive and Bryn learned that lesson here.
The romance felt a little lackluster to me though. I was promised lesbian love triangle (and yes, there is one!), but I guess wanted all the angst that comes with the love triangle trope and that fell through.
Casual queer rep in the book was also a welcome surprise. There was a scene in the book, where the main character and her friend openly talked about their sexuality. There was a queer water fairy, and even a minor character who confessed he was asexual. I loved that!
Overall, I think Ironspark has potential. It’s a good read now and I’m excited to see how the author will take the sequel on another level.
Join the Giveaway!
One (1) US participant will receive a print copy of Ironspark. Click here to join! The giveaway ends September 3rd.
About the Author
I am a storyteller at heart, and my poor mother was grateful when I started writing. It gave her ears a break. I write primarily science fiction and fantasy intended for the young adult and middle grade audience. Presently, I live in Texas with my two cats.