[Book Review] ‘The Spark’ by David Drake

The Spark by David Drake

In the time of the Ancients the universe was united—but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves—some tiny, some ruined, some wild.

Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind—

And there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.

A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce—the return of civilization.

Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he’s been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization.

Pal has no idea of what he’s really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.

THE SPARK: A story of hope and violence and courage. And especially, a story of determination.

The Spark by David Drake

The Spark by David Drake

Civilization has fallen and mankind now exists in isolated pockets and villages. Each of these are separated by a dangerous otherworldly realm known as “Not Here” which is inhibited by “beasts.”

The Champions of Mankind are battling to reunite mankind and have made Dun Add their capital. It is only these Champions and the remnants of a fallen technological society that keep the world of man from being overrun by the “Not Here”

This is a sci-fi fantasy novel about a naïve farm boy that sets out into the world planning to become a Champion and aid in the unification of man. Follow Pal as he faces disappointment and trials on his journey to truly become a Champion. Will he aid in the rebuilding of civilization?

The Spark is an Odyssey type quest in a futuristic setting. It has all the standards Arthurian tropes including a love triangle that could be the downfall of the kingdom.

The book is an easy, enjoyable read once you are into it. My problem was getting into it. The first few pages left me wondering if I had come into the middle of a series as Mr. Drake starts out writing about “The Road,” technology, and “Makers” as if the reader was already familiar with the concepts. It was this familiarity that left me stumbling uncomfortably at the beginning.

Once you are over the initial stumbling block, this is a fun read that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking. In fact, you don’t want to think too much or else you will start asking questions that this book doesn’t even brush over.

David Drake has created an interesting world with this novel and it would be interesting to see if he further expands on.

The Spark gets four stars because of the rough start and the fact that the adventures are so tightly packed and fast moving that you don’t get a full feel for antagonists.


Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends


Written by: David Drake
Cover Art by Todd Lockwood
Published by Baen Books

How we rate our Books

1 = We finished the book with effort

2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance

3 = Good

4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends

5 = We couldn’t put the book down