Monday 31 October 2022

A Different Kind of Camouflage - Corinna Turner - unSPARKed Book 8

A Different Kind of Camouflage
unSPARKed Book 8
Corinna Turner
Unseen Books
ISBN 9781910806425
eISBN 9781910806296

The ending of book 7 was like a gut punch. Both my son and I were left reeling at the cliff hanger ending that left us so desperate for this volume. But this story turned the corner and brought it back, at least part way. As always it leaves you desperate for the next volume and the long teased prequel A Mom With Blue Feathers. This story was AWEsome it is a FANtastic story in an incredible series. I have read stories in this series over 30 times now. And my son has read all of them more than once as well. We just ordered the first couple for my nephew his cousin, and have given a complete set to the school library, that is how much we love these stories! 

I first read a story by Turner in 2015, and read the first in this series in 2017. Since then I have read book by her a total of 57 times, and unSPARKed stories 30 of them. When this book released I noticed the eBook was out on a Monday and I the paperback was released the next day and I ordered a copy for my son and for the school. Then I devoured this volume in a single day over a few sittings. I could just not put it down. I am not going to tell my son I read it without him, and just let him read me his copy when it arrives in two days. My son is a reluctant reader, but he has read all of the stories in this series more than once. He can’t wait to read these books once a new one releases. And he often goes over his 20 minutes reading time when these are the books in hand. Some he has read to me twice, and read them again a third time on his own. This is another great read. The whole series are excellent stories for teens, young adults and adults. The series keeps getting better and better! It has real staying power.

When I recommend this series, which happens frequently, I often describe it as a mashup of Mad Max, Lost World, and Jurassic Park, and I have recommended it to many, all who have enjoyed them. In many ways it is like 50 years after Jurassic World Dominion. We have even bought a full set for my son’s school library.

unSPARKed is a series set in a not-too-distant future. Dinosaurs once again roam the earth. Just because a scientist could do something, did not mean they should have done it. Most people live SPARKed, in cities with walls and electrified fences. There are two groups of people who live unSPARKed, farmers who have electric fences around their farms and live in community with their close neighbours. The other are Hunters who live most of the time out on the road or off road in HabVI’s Habitat Vehicles. 

The description of this volume is:


Farm kids Darryl and Harry have experienced the freedom—and dangers—of life as hunters for almost a year while traveling with Josh.

But the authorities have finally caught up with them. Taken to the city against their will, they must both swap wildlife and open skies for concrete and fumes.

In the face of inflexible bureaucrats and ever-watchful social workers, can they remain faithful to their identity and hold onto their hope that one day they will live free again—and be reunited with those they love?”

The story is told in a series of first person narrative chapters. And there is a wide range in chapter length. The chapters alternate between Harry and Darryl.

Our main characters are:

Darryl: 17 and a half years old. Raised on a farm. Does not enjoy the city. And Harry’s big sister. Devote Catholic. Deep faith. A brave strong young woman.

Harry: Darryl’s younger brother. Eager to learn, a farm boy at heart. A youngster of faith, and strong work ethic. 

Joshua: He was raised unSPARKed, lived his whole life from the day he was born in a Habitat Vehicle. He was raised by his father and uncle. Both deceased. Can’t stand being in city.

The story is told in first person narrative alternating between chapters from Harry and Darryl’s perspective. The story picks up right where the last left off. We do not know if Josh will survive his injuries. Almost immediately Darryl and Harry are separated. Harry is put in foster care, and Darryl is put in a secure group home, and because she is considered a flight risk, she has very few liberties and privileges. This story is that of both adapting to being in city. They have never lived in city and the only real benefit they find is weekly Mass. They are still in the season of Lent, and Harry commits to keeping the Hunter Lenten fasts for Joshua. No matter how hard they try they cannot seem to get any news of Josh’s condition. Is he even alive? They have visits from friends, both from farming and their year in the HabVi with Joshua, though with some deception involved. And things keep not going their way. Uncle Mau struggles with the court system. Fernanda Matthews believes she knows what is best and is putting the full power her beurocratic role can bear to keep the two in City, indefinitely! 

I was completely surprised by where in the story we encounter the title, and who figured it out. This is the second in sort a sub trilogy within the series. The next is A Different Kind of Freedom continues this story arc that started with FEAR. I have a feeling the next volume will focus on Joshua’s experience during this same time frame, but that is just speculation. Maybe we will even have insight into what transpired for Father Ben during this time frame. This story takes place over a few months. But it feels much more compressed based on all that happens. We can only hope the next volume A Different Kind of Freedom and the long awaited prequel A Mom With Blue Fathers drop sooner rather than later. The last story ended on a cliffhanger. This story ends with a plan starting to shape up. 

This is another excellent read in a MASTERfully written series. But be warned you will be desperate for the next volume. It is a great book by a gifted and talented author. One of our favourite contemporary YA and Catholic authors at that! 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Corinna Turner:
I Am Margaret Series:
0.0 The Underappreciated Virtues of Rusty Old Bicycles (A prequel)

0.5 Brothers (Prequel)
1.0 I Am Margaret
1.5 How Snakey Got His Name (Short Story)
2.0 The Three Most Wanted
3.0 Liberation
4.0 Bane's Eyes

5.0 Margo's (Attempted) Diary & Notebook
5.5 An Unexpected Guest
6.0 The Siege of Reginald Hill
6.5 Buttons (Short Story)
7.0 A Saint in the Family
I Am Margaret The Play - Fiorella de Maria

Yesterday and Tomorrow Series:

Tomorrow's Dead

unSPARKed Series:

Mandy Lamb Series:
Mandy Lamb and the Full Moon

Contributed to:
Secrets: Visible & Invisible 7 Amazing Stories - Catholic Teen Books
Gifts Visible & Invisible 8 Christmas Stories for Teens
Treasures: Visible & Invisible 8 Stories for Teens

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