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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
City of Sound and Light is a work of fiction in the fantasy, dystopian, and thriller/adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Dave Walker. Written as the first novel in the Spark Series, the work is intended for young adult readers, but would also be suitable for the high end of the middle grade reading age too. We find ourselves following the events which befall protagonist Tera-Reyna, who lives in a world where sparks, fairy-like companions, are utilized for connection and communication. But when Tera stumbles across a spark without its human and learns a terrible secret about future events, she finds herself drawn into a chilling and deadly investigation. Soon, the fate of society rests in her hands alone.
Author Dave Walker has done a fantastic job with this truly unique young adult work, which manages to weave a convincing, serious, and suspenseful political thriller into the magical dystopian setting of Misso and the Median League. My heart was certainly in my throat for many thrilling moments in the plot, and one of the things which I appreciated was how close and empathetic we can be with Tera thanks to the intimate narration, emotive speech, and thought presentation by the author. Ignored and overlooked, as many young people are, rooting for Tera in this story inspires a kind of empowerment for the audience and gets you doubly invested in the outcome of her adventure. Overall, I would highly recommend City of Sound and Light as a promising start to an accomplished new YA series, filled with original, engrossing ideas.