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(The Firebrand Chronicles #1)

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  38 reviews

Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands.

Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.

When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. Against

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC
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Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Kat Heckenbach
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is technically YA, but I would recommend this even as a middle grade book. It's clean (nothing that's not appropriate for middle graders), has lots of action right from the first chapter, and has a rich fantasy story world with some cool magical creatures and an interesting magic system. The main character has a good balance of snark and sweetness, and is insecure enough that kids can relate to her but confident enough to take on the adventure. If you enjoy books that take you into another ...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands.
Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.
When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. Against her will. Who knew portals even existed? But Brenna’s arrival in Linneah begins the fulfillment of an anc
John Kramer
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Splendid and Inspiring YA Tale

“Spark” provides young adult readers just the kind of quest they should seek: one that takes them to another fascinating world filled with adventures and challenges, an exotic land of great beauty, inspiration and instruction. (Maybe I shouldn’t limit this to young adults; we can all use that!) Brenna, the protagonist, is a relatable teenager who discovers it is her obligation to shoulder the weight of an ancient prophecy and carry it through to its fulfillment. T
Drew Boudreaux
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read Spark as part of a book review club, and I can honestly say I really enjoyed this story. I surprised myself with this one, for I typically stay far away from both first-person narration and sarcastic teenage girls. I especially enjoyed the way Hackman displayed Christian themes in her text (many times have I read a book under the Christian Fiction genre and have been disappointed to find nothing more than something like a passing mention of the Bible). The plot was action-packed and excit ...more
Alexis Mills *from the heart of a bibliophile lair*
Amazing wonderful book. Recommend this book. Enjoyed reading this book before bed. Five star book.
M.H. Elrich
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. I wanted to eat it up in one sitting and feel like I’ve enjoyed a sweet treat. Instead, I found myself struggling to connect with Brenna, the main character and narrator. Yet, I liked the setting and plot of Spark, so I kept reading until the end, despite the disconnect between us. So, I couldn’t love this book, but I did like this book because of the action sequences and world building.

Brenna-the narrator of the book; her fiery spirit and reckless
Laurie Lucking
This was such a fun read! Brenna had so much humor and heart, I enjoyed discovering Linneah through her eyes and found her easy to relate to as she tried to figure out who to trust and questioned her ability to fulfill an ancient prophecy. And her relationship with Baldwin made me grin :) Hackman's worldbuilding was stellar - the various abilities that manifested in the characters and the unusual threats they faced made the story anything but predictable. Plus, did you hear about the griffins? J ...more
Marion Rossiter
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The fantasy setting meant it could deal with issues that would be impossible to fit into the real world. I also love that they get to ride griffons!
I usually shy away from stories told in first-person, but the mental asides brought out a sense of humour I appreciated. I did find the main character annoyingly unwilling to listen to others, but then I reminded myself that she's only sixteen.
I searched for book 2 as soon as I'd finished and would recommend it to anyone w
Justin Coogle
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
For anyone reading this review it is key that you read the whole thing to get the full context of my final conclusion and why I scored it the way I did.

"Spark", by J.M. Hackman, is a YA fantasy novel that follows the story Brenna (aka Raven) and her struggle of accepting her role in a prophecy to save the land of Linneah. Brenna is a 16 year old girl from Earth who discovers she has powers (she is a "Firebrand", a wielder of flames and healing) on top of being part of a magical lineage from an a
Kelly Bridgewater
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Being a debut novel by J. M .Hackman, Spark, is definitely a book that fits in the YA fantasy genre. With a character like Brenna James, she is definitely something worth aspiring to for young women. Brenna James is literally forced into this new world through a portal on her sixteenth birthday. She adapts pretty quickly and accepts the world and all its rules without hesitation. The plot moved pretty quickly and reminded me a lot of a number of other titles, such as Unblemished by Sara Ella, Th ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From the moment I saw this cover, I knew I had to read Brenna's story and now....I have a new favorite author :) If it wasn't for sleep, I would've finished reading overnight because once I started, I couldn't put it down! I gobbled the pages up as if I found a new favorite candy and I had to see what the ending would be. It was BETTER than I could've imagined and can't stop thinking about the characters and what will happen next for them!

Brenna is in high school (being in high school was never
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This YA fantasy novel is filled with fun (Can you tell by Brenna’s sarcastic wit in the synopsis?), adventure (Romping around an alternate reality will do that to you!), and suspense (Will she be able to save her mother and return the Veil, or will there be a price to pay?)

Brenna is your average 21st Century teen–her favorite shoes are Chucks, she’s always on the search for waffles, and she tosses around adolescent-attitude like it’s confetti–until she’s drawn into a hidden world she never knew
Kasey Giard
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Spark is a peppy, fun read perfect for fans of Sara Ella’s Unblemished. I enjoyed the cast of characters and found each one really different from others. Anna might have been my favorite, simply because she was so silly. The romance between Baldwin and Brenna is sweet and perfect for readers just beginning to read romance.

The Christian themes in the story are pretty straightforward without being preachy. Brenna faces choices surrounding a prophecy which seems to indicate that she’ll play a major
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Awesome portal fantasy you will want to savour with great characters, a fantastic quest, and an imaginative world. Where to start with this review? Do I comment on the feisty and fun heroine, Brenna, who has a mind of her own, makes lots of mistakes, picks herself up, and tries again? Because I loved her! She has just enough snark to keep it real with a great sense of humour and some wicked sword skills. Or do I start with the well-imagined and very descriptive fantasy world of Linneah? Because ...more
Joanne Rolston
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, reviewed
There was much to like about this story.

Brenna is an American teenager born in Vermont. She doesn’t know her mother is from an “alternity” called Linneah in the Jasper Territory - her parents and grandmother didn’t tell her. All Linneans must cross the portal on their 16th birthday. It’s her sixteenth birthday.

We are plunged straight into the action. The world of Linneah is peopled with a rich variety of people and creature. The first ones we see are Lagramants - giant praying mantises guardin
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I admit, the first time I set eyes on Spark, I was sold! It was hard to resist the beautiful and spectacular cover! What’s even more amazing, is the story itself. The author’s writing style, word choice and description made me feel as if I were accompanying Brenna on her journey-from high school through the portal, leading to Linneah. Which is the most intriguing place I’ve ever read about, including the other fantastical locations within it!

The memorability of the highly unique characters along
Tori Rainn
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fun and adventurous read! Clean and appropriate for teens or any audience who enjoys YA fantasy. I was first caught up in Brenna’s story when we entered the awe-inspiring Linneah world. The author did such a fantastic job at world building. Her descriptions where spot on and I’m not afraid to admit the use of vocabulary in this book had me whipping out the dictionary quite often. But that’s what added so much visuals to this fantasy setting. I honestly wanted to visit Linneah. Maybe sleep in a ...more
C. McIntosh
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story flow is consistent and engaging and there are jabs of humour as well as great writing to keep the engagement. Sixteen-year-old Brenna James is challenged to change her life when she accidentally sets fire to the school. There is adventure and a family secret which unravels to test and invite Brenna to a new way of thinking. It is one of the best books I have read. The creativity and wonderful imagination of the author showed through. T ...more
S.K. Gregory
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brennan just wants to celebrate her birthday, but instead she is pulled into a fantastical world she never knew existed. The story was interesting as she got to grips with her powers and learned about her family legacy. I would recommend it.
Jeffrey Reynolds
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Spark is the beginning of an entertaining and exciting YA fantasy series. I found the first person narrative enjoyable, and I love the characters, especially Arvandus the Griffin. The plot is also well written, with plenty of twists and turns.

For the record, at age 60, I'm not the typical audience for this book, but if you enjoy well written fantasy, you need to check this book out.
Marie (IfCatsCouldRead)
This is a great fantasy book for middle grades and up. I enjoyed the quick action from the first page with Brenna thrown into a new world (the world-building is awesome) and finding out she has a power. Brenna's mother is missing and with smarts and determination she finds her own strength and capabilities. There are a few places where Brenna doesn't listen to advice which really fits with 16 year olds I have known. She learns some cause and effect in this new world and brings some of her Earth ...more
Shannan Williams
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book! I absolutely loved it! This is a great book for adults and young adults. Brenna is awesome and I loved seeing her come in to her own, even though she still messed up a lot! The book had me hooked from the beginning, lots of action. I kept wondering what was going to happen next. I have found a new favorite author in J.M. Hackman, and I cannot wait to read book 2! I highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers everywhere.
V. Romas Burton
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Spark was a creative book with a lot of fantasy elements thrown in. I felt the beginning was a bit rushed and wished I had gotten to know who Breanna was a smidge more in the "real" world before she went to a different alternity. There were some parts I felt were a bit spotty, but overall I enjoyed the story. I loved Arvandus and want my own griffin now! ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun action-packed read by J.M. Hackman! I can assure you that I was on the edge of my seat throughout this read! You can't help but to connect with the stubborn heroine Brenna and think "I would have done the same thing!" Brenna was so real (and let's not forget lovable)! 

The book's message was so masterfully woven into the tale. Everyone has a God-given gift. I know that sometimes (like in Brenna's case) it takes time for it to show! And if you already know what that is, are you using your gi
K.A. Cummins
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"I thought it was a weird dream. Is it a big deal?" -Brenna James from Spark

Sixteen-year-old Brenna James is a direct, down-to-earth, waffle-loving teen with ADHD. She's concerned about the upcoming history test until a flame shoots from her fingertip and catches the school's trophy case on fire.

More surprises await Brenna at home. She learns her family's connected to an alternate reality, where her mother's gone missing. Brenna must travel there with her father and grandmother while fighting of
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this Christian YA fantasy. Nice work on the world building/setting. Good characters in interesting situations. There’s great suspense as the story builds. I found the ending a little flat, though. The final battle didn’t reach the same or higher tension as some of the earlier scenes. I kept waiting for a big reveal or twist or betrayal, thinking the relatively quick resolution was just the calm before the big moment, but it never materialized.

I would still recommend this to fantasy fan
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun, fast-paced, engaging read. I love how, through the course of the story, the book's main character finds out who she really is and meets the challenges of recognizing and embracing her destiny. Spark is an exciting story, and as it unfolds, draws the reader in and inspires them to soar.
I'm looking forward to the next book in the series!
Sondra Hicks
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, can you say AMAZING! I wish high was like this for me. The MC was just loveable from the start and I stayed up all night and am now beat tired but I had to finish this book. How could anyone not try to do that? This book hooks you and keeps you from start to finish. If I could have read in the shower I would have. I have a new author I love now.
If you are looking for a Christian, juvenile fiction, fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist, choose this book!
Rachel Lopez
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing read!

Spark is a fun story that is filled with action, suspense, and well Spark. Can't wait for book two Flare!
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J.M. Hackman loves thunderstorms, bookstores, and happy endings. She’s never met a reading nook she didn’t like and prefers soul talk to small talk. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her biggest fans--her family.
Her short stories have been published in the anthologies Mythical Doorways, Tales of Ever After, and Encircled. Her YA fantasy series The Firebrand Chronicles (Spark, Flare, & B

Other books in the series

The Firebrand Chronicles (3 books)
  • Flare (The Firebrand Chronicles #2)
  • Burn (The Firebrand Chronicles, #3)

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