Bright Spark Book Cover Bright Spark
Psions of SPIRE, Book 1
Alex Silver
LGBT, Gay, Coming of Age, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
ATS Publications
September 5, 2019
366

Sometimes growing up means giving up your preconceptions.

Aaron Anderson and Jake Matthews were childhood sweethearts until Aaron developed psionic abilities that turned both of their worlds upside down and tore them apart.

Six years later they reconnect when Aaron returns home to work with a youth summer camp affiliated with SPIRE. Jake is at the same camp, along with his current partners, to protest the organization funding it. Sparks fly when the couple reunites and Aaron discovers hidden abilities that bring him to the attention of SPIRE.

Aaron and Jake have every intention of seizing their second chance at love. But once more, forces outside their control are at play. And the organization Aaron believes in is at the center of events targeting vulnerable youth.

This M/M urban fantasy contains an open M/M/M relationship as well as an M/M relationship.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Ulysses Dietz

Member of The Paranormal Guild Review Team

“The only missing piece was my best friend at my side.”

Aaron Anderson and Jake Moretti have been friends and neighbors all their lives. At seventeen, their friendship suddenly, almost on a whim, changes. Then, just as suddenly, it all changes again.

This novel started out feeling like a YA novel, and then became something significantly more adult. The author lays down a rather striking premise in which the emergence of psychic powers during adolescence has engendered a whole world of unjust laws and cultural prejudice for the children who develop those powers. Called psions, these young people are faced with challenges that “norms” don’t face.

It’s a very interesting idea–displacing the gay dilemma with another one and playing with all the parallel narrative potential offered by such a sci-fi/paranormal hook. At first, I was puzzled by the introduction of a polyamorous gay couple into the plot, but then it all began to make sense as the author expanded on the nature of psions and their very particular physical and emotional complexities. One of the cleverest things about this book is the carefully rationalized explanations of what being psion is. Good sci-fi must be plausible, and Silver does this well.

In retrospect, I was a little disappointed that a story about cultural prejudice, in which the whole range of LGBTQ+ identity is honored and incorporated into the plot, somehow entirely misses ethnic variety. Jake is Italian, and Aaron is a pale-skinned redhead. There are no people of color, which seems an odd absence and a missed opportunity in a book so focused on the acceptance of diversity.

Another complaint I have is not a rare one in the world of gay romance. The book is riddled with grammatical errors that should have been corrected through editing.

Setting these flaws aside, “Bright Spark” is a fascinating adventure that carries a lot of emotional weight and kept me reading far beyond my usual bedtime. I’ve already purchased the second book in the series.