Wednesday 8 March 2023

A Truly Clawful Christmas - Corinna Turner - An unSPARKed Story

A Truly Clawful Christmas
An unSPARKed Story
Unseen Books
eISBN 9781910806203

Wow what an excellent short story. This is a piece I have been waiting for almost since I started reading the series, but more on that later. This is a masterfully written piece! I have read this through twice since it was published and read it as a fan exclusive prior to that. As soon as I finished it I started reading it again. Again it hits at the long teased prequel A Mom With Blue Feathers. This story was FANtastic it is a great read in an AWEsome series. I have read stories in this series over 35 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! And how highly we regard these stories and Turner’s writings.

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 62 times, and unSPARKed stories 35 of them. This story is only available as an eBook short but Turner has hinted at an anthology of the short stories at some point in the future in print format. This book and series are excellent stories for teens, young adults and adults. The series keeps getting better and better! It has real staying power. 

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:

“If young city-priest Father Benedict can’t find more volunteers for his Christmas Bazaar, he’ll have to cancel it. But an unexpected appeal from his bishop leaves him facing a very different Christmas. Suddenly, complaints from disappointed parishioners are the least of his worries. His new priority—survival!

From the Carnegie Medal Nominated author of the I AM MARGARET series, this thrilling unSPARKed short story provides a pulse-pounding introduction to the series.

Beware: this series’ vivid descriptions, heart-pounding drama, and fabulous characters are sure to lure you in, as well.”

This whole story is told from the perspective of Father Benedict, or Father Ben. This is Father Ben’s long awaited back story. How did he become a rural priest, travelling unSPARKed from camp to farm, and travelling far and wide to take care of the spiritual needs of his parishioners. It recounts how he goes from city priest with a busy parish to living alone in the SOS van travelling the countryside. And his first day unSPARKed is a doozie. 

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 very short time frame but it is packed full of information and insight into Father Ben’s live and ministry. 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 in a surprising way. And we now know a lot more about beloved Father Ben. The only piece I could have hoped for more than this would have been a story on Saint Desmond the Hermit, but alas we must still wait for that story.

This is another great read in a MASTERfully written series. It is an excellent read by a gifted and talented author, and one of our favourite contemporary YA and Catholic authors at that! A volume we can easily recommend for fans of the series!  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 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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