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A Spark Unseen

(The Dark Unwinding #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,086 ratings  ·  291 reviews
When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy,
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published 2013)
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colleen the convivial curmudgeon I was just reading Q&A with the author from March 2014, and she says "there's not a third book with Katharine (sorry!)": …moreI was just reading Q&A with the author from March 2014, and she says "there's not a third book with Katharine (sorry!)":

Pity, because the story feels undone, to me, and I'd really like a final book to wrap things up.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,086 ratings  ·  291 reviews

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Start your review of A Spark Unseen (The Dark Unwinding, #2)
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who read The Dark Unwinding

Actual rating: 3.4

As some of you know, my friends, I was (still am, maybe) in a middle of a reading slump or was it the weather (-30C) or all at once, but anyways it didn't help that this book was slooow. If you read my review on The Dark Unwinding, you know that it was slow paced too but it was absolutely suiting to the mood and action. In the case of A spark unseen, no such luck - the books was not just slow but boring too. I was struggling to read the first half, conquering 10% a day (!) -

Its been two years since The Dark Unwinding left off. Katharine Tulman has been managing her ancestral estate, Stranwyne Keep, avoiding the malicious London-based circle of her spiteful Aunt Alice, and taking care of her mad Uncle Frederick, called Tully.

Uncle Tully isnt a bit mad, but Victorian language lacks a word to describe him. He has the all-mastering, simple emotions of a small child, yet a mathematical and mechanical genius that goes far beyond anyone alive in his day.

(view spoiler)
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, arc
With the same atmosphere and wonderfully charismatic characters as the first book, A Spark Unseen is a good sequel to The Dark Unwinding, but I felt somewhat bored while reading it. Even though the pacing in the first book was unhurried, I still found myself entertained by the characters in such a way that I hardly noticed. A Spark Unseen, on the other hand, while it did have the same fun personalities, much of its time is spent expanding the now thicker political layer. Not being a big fan of ...more
My ARC of A Spark Unseen was provided for me by the publisher. I was not obligated to write a positive review. This is my full and honest opinion.

Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I don't like it quite as much as the cover for The Dark Unwinding, simply because you can see the character impersonator's face. However, she works pretty well for Katherine, so she doesn't bother me as much as most character impersonators. I still love the mechanical gears, and that dress is gorgeous.

Characters: Katherine
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this entire duology over the course of a weekend - on my iPhone, that too! Needless to say, it was impossible to put down and I loved every moment spent in this world. A Spark Unseen, the highly anticipated follow-up to A Dark Unwinding, is both stronger and weaker than its predecessor. On one hand, it manages to hit very high notes in certain areas; on the other hand, it fell flat for me in places where its predecessor did not. Yet, on the whole, both these books are identical in their ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
3.5 stars.

The Dark Unwinding enchanted and delighted me, so, upon the news that there would in fact be a sequel, I was thrilled, even though such surprise sequels generally result in angry Twitter rants. Of course, sequels to books that were closed enough that you didn't know there would be one can be a tricky business. Though I didn't enjoy A Spark Unseen as much as its predecessor, I'm still happy to have read it and would, if a third pops up, read that one too without a doubt.

In The Dark
Katharine Tulman's uncle is a genius, a mechanical mastermind and considered quite the lunatic (of course in modern day we'd call him autistic). When government factions attempt to take her uncle away for their own self serving uses, Katharine fakes Uncle Tully's death and secrets him away to Paris. She hopes to find Lane, the man she loves, but the odds are against her since he's been listed as deceased.

Katharine's trip to Paris and search for Lane quickly leads her from the proverbial frying
The sequel to The Dark Unwinding flounces to and through Paris too haphazardly for me. The lightly steampunk gothic YA romance will make readers giggle with its tribute gothic girliness, from deliberate hand-on-throat posing to quavery wide-eyed hesitation and shock at the perfidy of men. At the same time heroine Katherine Tullman has enough strength of conviction and moments of action to satisfy modern girls. But for me, the tight focus on Katherine's interactions with hunky boy-men and a range ...more
Kim Friant
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the first but a nice story.
The Daydreamologist
I am NOT ready to say goodbye yet. Where is that Epilogue?!
A weekend well spent, indeed.


I salute you, Sharon Cameron!
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron
Book Two of The Dark Unwinding series
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain
Hazel West
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Thoughts on the Overall Book: Like the first book, this was an intriguing, fast paced story set in the early Victorian period and now that I knew what to expect from the author, I was a little worried this one wouldn't be as good as the first, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it really was, if not different.

Cover--Yea or Nay: Yes I do like it. I don't even really mind that you can see her face. I love the color of the picture just like I did the first one, and it looks more like a
rachel ☾
The very first audiobook I ever read was The Dark Unwinding and it was the perfect introduction to the format. Since then, Ive listened to a couple of others audiobooks but no one has been able to narrate to the same standard as Fiona Hardington. She has this incredible way with her voice! She nails every accent - mainly British and French, in this story - and even speaks in French perfectly. Well, it sounds perfect to me. Im not exactly an expert. But what is the most beautiful thing about her ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean-ya, audiobooks
3.5 Stars

This is a good wrap-up to the first book and I did enjoy it, but I had to rate it lower because its not as good as the first book.

Because of how the first book ends, you really do need to read this one, and I was satisfied with how the overarching story ended. But so much of what I loved about the first book was missing in this one. Not only does this book mostly take place away from Stranwyne, a setting I loved, but two important and beloved characters have very little page time here.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you thought Katherine lived happily ever after when book 1 concluded, then book 2 soon puts a stop to that. From the very start there is danger and intrigue as a foiled kidnapping attempt makes them all realise that Stranwyne Keep is not safe enough for Uncle Tully. Too many people know of his genius and want him and his inventions for themselves. Katherine has to find a way to keep him safe, no matter the cost to herself.
I enjoyed this book almost as much as book 1 and feel like there needs
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was.....okay. It wasnt boring or slow exactly but it was different than the first book in a way i didnt care for. This was much more mystery and run around but had a somewhat satisfying ending so 3 stars
Alyssa Nelson
A Spark Unseen is the follow up to The Dark Unwinding. Katharines autistic Uncle Tully is still sought after by both France and Britain to provide clockwork fish that could act as bombs against new ironclad ships; both want the advantage for themselves so they can rule the navy after theyre finished fighting the Crimean War. However, Katharine wants her uncle to live in peace and doesnt believe hed thrive creating weapons for any government. In an effort to let him live his life, she fakes his ...more
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in The Dark Unwinding. I havent heard anything about there being a third book in this series. This book was a very fun read. I didnt like it quite as much as The Dark Unwinding, but it was still very entertaining.

Katharine wakes up in the middle of the night to find intruders in her house who are attempting to kidnap her genius uncle. Even though the kidnappers are foiled, Katharine realizes that Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully. She devises a plan for her
Aug 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You can read this review and more on my blog - J Reads Ya!

Diversity Ratings: | POC Chars - 0+ | Queer Chars - 0 |

I didnt think it was possible, but A Spark Unseen is even better than the first book. This review is almost difficult to write without resorting to straight-up fangirling.
No one but I, Katherine Tulman, could run across land and sea to hide a supposed-dead uncle from not one but two governments, only to move next door to one of the most blatant gossips on the continent. I really wasn
Amy Fournier
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
*Actual rating 3.5 stars

I really enjoyed the first book and was excited to jump right back into the story of Katherine and her Uncle Tully! The way the first one ended could have very well made it a stand alone book, but I am glad that the author decided to continue the story. This time we are off to Paris, and the setting is fabulous. I already loved the characters, so all I needed was more adventure, more beautiful descriptive writing, and a good resolution to the issue at hand. I got all of
See this review and more on my blog, Lilybloombooks

I fell in love with the first book, A Dark Unwinding, and I was excited when I saw A Spark Unseen available on audio. Even though I was happy with where the first book left us -- I wanted to check with these characters!

A Spark Unseen is similar yet so much different from its predecessor. While the characters I know and love (and in some cases, loathed) are the same; there was an added layer of mystery, a thicker political plot and it's even more
Sara - thelookingglassreads
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had pretty lofty expectations for A Spark Unseen since I loved The Dark Unwinding so much! I can get picky about series' sometimes, and I can tell you that this one doesn't disappoint! I was so delightful/thrilling to dive into the amazing world that Sharon has crafted. A Spark Unseen had all of the amazing historical intrigue that I adore, and also the splendid and deep characters that I fell in love with.

Katharine is one of those characters who sparks up the feminist in me. She is so clever
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this sequel to The Dark Unwinding. The story picks up two years after the end of that book and takes us to France so Katherine can a) hide her Uncle Tully from people who'd like to exploit his genius and b) so she can find Lane, who is missing and possibly dead. While the first book had a very gothic feel, this one is more a story of secrets and spies. I was hoping for more Katherine/Lane romance in this book, and there is some resolution to that issue by the end, but that wasn't a ...more
Lindsey (Bring My Books)
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
ReRead: April 29 - , 2016

First Read: May 24 - May 27, 2014
Loved it, loved it, loved it!! This was a spectacular sequel. It felt a lot different than the first in many ways, but I enjoyed that aspect. It was very much like taking characters and a premise that you really loved and putting them in a whole new setting and world, creating a very different sort of story. Whereas I felt the first had elements of gothic/haunting fiction, this was more a thriller with political intrigue, mystery, drama,
Lindsey (Bring My Books)
ReRead: April 29 - May 1, 2016


First Read: May 24 - May 27, 2014
Loved it, loved it, loved it!! This was a spectacular sequel. It felt a lot different than the first in many ways, but I enjoyed that aspect. It was very much like taking characters and a premise that you really loved and putting them in a whole new setting and world, creating a very different sort of story. Whereas I felt the first had elements of gothic/haunting fiction, this was more a thriller with political
Captain Dem the second
As i said to the first book of the series i love the characters and the plot, especially in this one. I was excited to open this book and start reading it at 12 am with only a small light on and the cold making it even more thrilling. I was sure it would be another masterpiece and the fact that i could actually understand all the french phrases in it made me say HA to noone while reading.
The new characters were so mysterious and the twists were so well considered. the scene being Paris was a
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: borrowed, series, 2014
Borrowed from Natasha and she told me that this book wasn't as good as the first one and she was right. Still a great book but the first one was so exciting and interesting, though it took a bit of time to get into the book. This one instead I felt like the plot took forever to kick in and even when it did it wasn't as exciting or interesting. Still a great book, I loved the characters, old and new, and the new setting in this book.
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
If I weren't already so far past my reading goals this yer I'd feel bad counting this one because I skimmed a good bit of the first half. It just didn't interest me and I thought the historical setting was kind of wasted. Things picked up when Lane showed back up, but that was deep into the book, and honestly I didn't find the resolution all that satisfying.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure where book 2 would go in this duology since despite that ending that called for a sequel, most of the main threads seemed to have been wrapped well. I might have enjoyed this one a teensy bit less than the first one at times but I really enjoyed how Katharine took control of the situation and didn't allow Lane to continue making the choices he thinks are best ;) Another 4 stars.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars! I so enjoyed this on audio!!! oh Mr. Tully's character was just brought to life listening to it! this one is quite different than the first, a lot more political intrigue but I really liked that aspect! full review to come
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 09:23AM  

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Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages.

Other books in the series

The Dark Unwinding (2 books)
  • The Dark Unwinding (The Dark Unwinding, #1)

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