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Tuesday, 8 November 2022

A Different Kind of Freedom - Corinna Turner - unSPARKed Book 9

A Different Kind of Freedom
unSPARKed Book 9
Corinna Turner
Unseen Books
ISBN 9781910806289
eISBN 9781910806296
ASIN B0BKLQ6BC6


Masterfully written! That is my first impression of this book. And as soon as I finished it I started reading it again. 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 volume 8, A Different Kind of Camouflage. This story and Camouflage run parallel to each other. 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 32 times now. And my son has read all of them more than once as well. We have been ordering them for my nephew his cousin, as he finished each we order him the next. We have also 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 59 times, and unSPARKed stories 32 of them. When this book released, I noticed the eBook was out on a Saturday and I the paperback was released a few days later and I ordered a copy for my son and for the school. My son wanted me to wait and read this the first time with him, I held off for several days, and then he gave me permission to go ahead. I read this volume in a single day over two sittings. I could not put it down. 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 this is 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 series are excellent stories for teens, young adults and adults. The series keeps getting better and better! It has real staying power. And now 24 hours later I am still thinking about this story nonstop

When I am recommending this series, which happens often, I frequently 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 and know from the Librarian that they are very popular.

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:

“DON’T THINK ABOUT WHAT’S OUTSIDE THE WALLS, JOSH.
BECAUSE THE WILDLIFE YOU NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IS IN HERE WITH YOU.

Young hunter Joshua suffers from severe city-phobia, but now he’s trapped in-city, sentenced to hard prison time for helping Darryl and Harry evade the city authorities for so long. Even if he can survive the threat from inside his own mind, can he navigate the dangers of prison life?

Thrown in with a tough pack of fellow hunters, tensions run high and personalities clash. Will fragile alliances bloom into true friendships or will anger and hatred spiral into violence?

Can the Raptor Whisperer survive being caged with the most dangerous creatures of all—his fellow men?”

This whole story is told from the perspective of Joshua, where A Different Kind of Camouflage, alternates between Darryl and Harry. I was hoping there would be some chapters by Father Ben, about his time incarceration. Maybe in another volume or short story.  

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.

Father Ben: Father Benedict was once a city priest but trained to be a rural priest. 

There are also a few hunters in prison with Joshua. Some nicer some not so much. Joshua has lived his life unSPARKed from shortly after his birth. He has a severe phobia of being in city and being separated from nature and animals. The story begins with him in hospital. And they have him very drugged up because of his fear. Once he is transferred to the prison, this at times are harder and at times easier.  

The original working title and announced title of the volume was Soil and Leaf which when you encounter it in the story it does make a lot of sense. But with the parallels between the two stories the publication title also makes sense. This story was by no means an easy read. Especially if you have worked with friends and family with mental health issues. There is more than one mention of a prisoner considering suicide. Turner writes this material with incredible skill, tact, and care. For several volumes now, my son and I have debated who could have kidnapped Harry and Darryl’s father. In this story we find out who but not for whom. We both have our suspicions, but only a future title will confirm if we are correct. We also have the reappearance of Jason Desmoines, and that does not bode well for Josh.

The next story in the series is What’s Done is Done and I can freely admit we are both desperate for Corinna to write and release it. This story takes place over a several months. But it feels much more compressed based on all that happens. We can only hope the next volume What’s Done is Done and the long-awaited prequel A Mom With Blue Fathers drop sooner rather than later. The last story ended on a cliff-hanger. This story ends with a big secret figured out, but can Josh share the information with Father Ben and get it to Darryl? 

This is another great read in a MASTERfully written series. Be warned you will be desperate for the next volume. It is an excellent book by a gifted and talented author, and 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:
Someday

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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