BOOK REVIEW – The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger

BOOK REVIEW – The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara BaysingerThe Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger
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Stand up.

When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.

Be heard.

Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.

Fight back.


The beginning of The Vanishing Spark of Dust was magnificent.  It contained a heroine who I knew would come out of her shell, an alien who was forbidden but oh so addicting and a world that was beyond fascinating yet terrifying at the same time.  I was completely glued to the pages and thought that I had found my next favorite book.  But at 10% into the book, everything changed for me.  There were two triggers that adversely affected me.  And they made me take a huge step back emotionally, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to connect to the characters again. I tried again and again to feel what I did for Lark, our heroine, and Kalen, our alien, yet it never happened.

My eyes start to burn. My chest heaves. And I break. Shatter. Fall to my knees. And I don’t know if these are teardrops or water dripping down my face, but I don’t care because I’m broken. So broken.

So two of my triggers are cruelty or death to animals and children.  And this sadly had both of those.  In the first instance, we don’t get to know what happens to the dog that follows Lark around.  Something happened during Lark’s kidnapping, and I was left reeling.  There’s no closure or answers to what happened to her little dog.  I thought that possibly down the road we would find out, but by that last page we are still just as clueless.  And while that really bothered me, the next thing that happened upset me even more.  In the second instance, a child gets killed point-blank.  And it’s not just some random child, but one that I became attached to.  It was extremely hard to read, and it was difficult each time Lark rehashed or thought about what happened.  I truly wish those scenes didn’t affect me so strongly, or that I didn’t have these triggers, but unfortunately it is what it is.

Kalen said never to mention freedom again, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fight for it. And I will. I’ll fight for it—I’ll risk my life for it. Because a life as a slave isn’t life at all.

So after those two events, which were pretty close to one another, I struggled big time.  I couldn’t find my way back to connecting to Lark or Kalen who has serious book boyfriend potential.  Sigh.  I read till the very end because I thought that something would grab me and pull me back in.  But all I could feel was indifference.  So while this book didn’t work out for me,  some of my book friends may truly enjoy this story.  And just know that while the book ended at a great stopping place, the door was definitely left open for a future book.  So here’s hoping that if you give this book a shot, you’ll end up enjoying this story much more than I did.

*ARC kindly provided by Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

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  1. Oh God, cruelty towards animals and children? Was that really necessary? Plus, a beloved character getting killed? No thanks.
    I always struggle with that type of thing… More often than not, it feels gratuitous and purely for shock-value, which is upsetting. So I can understand why it would affect you so much you didn’t really feel connected to the book anymore.
    The premise did sound lovely and I always love a good star-crossed lovers trope. Unfortunately, that seemed to spiral down to the point of no return, so I will probably be skipping this one.
    Amazing review, nonetheless!
    Sophie @ Blame Chocolate recently posted…Dog On It – Audiobook Review (Spoiler-Free)My Profile

    • Right?! Those were my thoughts exactly. I love star-crossed lovers and the way that it was progressing was so much fun! So I didn’t get the purpose of either of those instances in this book. It pulled too strongly at my heart, and ended up making me not feel anything for this book in the end. Ugh. Thank you for not making me feel alone in my thoughts towards cruelty/death towards animals and children! *hugs*

  2. Great review! I’m sorry this book didn’t work out for you, Jen! I’m pretty much an animal lover and I can’t handle cruelty towards animals in books. This really sounds like an interesting read so I might give it a shot. If it gets too hard to handle then I would just DNF it.

    • I need to learn to DNF! I just can’t. And it’s so frustrating because I keep thinking that something will pull me back in. But I know better, especially after reading those two scenes. Oh well. Ohhhhhh if you end up picking up this book (because the premise is amazing!) you can message me on Twitter and I can tell which pages/location to skip if you don’t want to read those two scenes. 🙂

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