Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.
Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don’t think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.
Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger.
Kim Lam is an ordinary college student until a freak scientific accident (what else?) transforms Kim and three housemates into Sparks—and drafts them into the never-ending war between the Light and Dark. They struggle to master their new abilities—and (of course) to design cool costumes and come up with great hero-names.
Turns out that “accident” was just the first salvo in a Mad Genius’s latest diabolical scheme. Now it’s up to four newbie heroes to save the day, before they even have a chance to figure out what their team’s name should be!
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Science spectacularly collides with superhero tales and magic to form the background of Gardner's often hilarious exploration of friendship, stereotypes, and gender identity. Kim, a genderqueer Canadian of Chinese descent, is a geology major at the University of Waterloo. Kim both exemplifies and resents a number of Asian stereotypes: focused on grades, preternaturally accomplished, and emotionally isolated. Living with take-charge chemist Ashariti, activist physicist Miranda, and jock biologist Jools has only enhanced Kim's appreciation for studious solitude, but the four roommates are forced to work together after they witness a "scimagical" event and become superheroic Sparks. They're meant to wield their new powers against the Darklings, ultrarich humans who have voluntarily become vampires, werewolves, and demons. But gender isn't the only arena in which Kim defies binaries: hidden in Kim's past is an experience with the Darklings, and the mix of Dark and Light magic and science has the potential to turn this superpowered future on its ear. The themes of identity and self-discovery are strong but not overwhelming, and Gardner (Trapped) elevates this enjoyable urban fantasy with an appealing cast and well-crafted prose.