Book Review: Artemis Spark & the Sound Seekers Brigade

By Kimberly Behre Kenna

From the publisher:

When Artemis Sparke has had it with humans, she heads to the nearby salt marsh to hang out with the birds, plants and mollusks who don’t make a big deal of her stutter. The shoreline sanctuary is predictable, unlike her family and friends, and the data in her science journal proves it. But one day that data goes haywire, and her bird friend RT confirms it: the salt marsh is dying. Artemis discovers that the historic hotel where she lives with her mom may be part of the problem, but speaking up would mean confronting the cranky hotel owner who happens to be her mom’s boyfriend and boss. Artemis conjures up help from deceased ecologists, and as she works to untangle their clues, she finds family secrets that could be the key to saving the salt marsh but also may destroy her life as she knows it.

I really enjoyed reading this story. Artemis is a great character. I love her careful measurements and recordings of the changes in the environment, and her dedication to saving the salt marshes. Of course, sometimes she goes too far, she is single-minded about the cause, to the determent of her friendship with Warren. At one point I wondered why he was friends with Artemis at all, but Artemis’s flawed character is one of the strengths of the story. I also understand why she tries so hard to control one aspect of her life. Her parents have split up, her mother is dating the owner of the hotel (even before the parents’ divorce is final) , her father seems irresponsible, and they both struck me as very selfish and not hugely interested in their daughter.

I really liked the other characters, especially Warren, who has problems at home too, and Mrs Moonchaser, a kindred spirit. The ghosts of the environmentalists are fairly low-key – I guess the story’s genre is actually magic realism? Overall I really enjoyed this story, it’s a little different as well, so I highly recommend that you check it out.

Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade was published on 2nd February this year, and thanks to netgalley and the publishers Regal House Press for the ARC copy.

I won’t be posting next Sunday as I will be busy celebrating Easter with my family, but I will be back the week after, so happy Easter, to those that will be celebrating/on holiday have a great break.

10 responses to “Book Review: Artemis Spark & the Sound Seekers Brigade”

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