Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.
After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.
Sparks is a fantastic sequel to Embers. In this installment, things seem normal - Anya still works at the fire department, continues to hunt for DAGR, and is still seeing Brian - until a series of human combustion cases needs to be solved. We have a fabulous new villain on the scene who is not only responsible for the human combustion cases, but is also targeting Sparky, Anya's familiar.
I loved Embers, but I must admit that Sparks is even better than Embers. Bickle does an excellent job at weaving different storylines (the origin of Anya's supernatural abilities, her romance with Brian, her work at the fire department, and her after hours hunting with DAGR). Although it might not see how one storyline has anything to do with another in the beginning, you will definitely be surprised how everything comes together in the end.
I can't stress how much I love Anya. Although she is able to devour souls, she desperately wants to be normal, and she is very conflicted about her relationship with Brian. I think all women can relate to her soft heart as well as her strength. Sparks is a fascinating novel that will keep you guessing. Thankfully there will be another book in the series to satisfy my addiction to this series.