In Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, River came to Violet's door to answer an advertisement seeking a boarder. He was handsome and rich, but also scary. River has the ability to make other people see things and do things, what they call his glow. While he seems like he has good intentions, some of the things that River does with his glow are pretty bad. Things like making a man cut his own throat. The man had been abusing his young son, but what River did isn't exactly good either. At the end of the book, we find out that River and his brother Neely have a half-brother in town named Brodie. A lot of the terrible things that they attributed to River were really Brodie. He ended up confronting River and cutting Violet's wrists. They stabbed him, but Brodie got away. River chases after him, but still hopes to return to Violet some day.
Now, it's been a long time since either Violet or Neely have heard from River. They have been listening to a late night radio show where people around the country call in with strange paranormal happenings. One night, they hear about a tiny mountain town where a red-haired boy has been visiting young girls in their bedrooms. It sounds like Brodie, so Violet, her brother Luke, Neely, and their neighbor Sunshine pack up to investigate. They find a town where the people are on edge, willing to lynch a young boy who has lived in the town for years. Violet and company rescue the boy and plan to take him back to the Citizen Kane. Then they decide to split up. Luke and Sunshine head home. Violet, Neely, and the boy head for a small island where they reported sightings of a mad sea king.
Once they get there, they find River, but he isn't the same River. He has gone mad from his powers, and the whole thing is very sad. Neely loves Violet and Violet loves Neely, but Violet also still loves River, but not what River does. The whole time, there is still the question of where Brodie is and what he is planning. It's complicated, you guys.
Between the Spark and the Burn was almost as good as Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. The writing was just as dreamy, but I wanted more of Violet and River. The conclusion to the series bummed me out a little, but it was also sort of beautiful in its way.
I received my copy of Between the Spark and the Burn from Edelweiss, courtesy of Dial. It's available for purchase now.