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They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded
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They Promised Me the Gun Wasn't Loaded

(Dark/Spark #2)

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4.05  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Award-winning author James Alan Gardner returns to the superheroic fantasy world of All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault with They Promised Me The Gun Wasn't Loaded.

Only days have passed since a freak accident granted four college students superhuman powers. Now Jools and her friends (who haven't even picked out a name for their superhero team yet) get caught up
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 6th 2018 by Tom Doherty Associates Book
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Chip
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four plus stars. The (first) sequel to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, Gardner's new series set in a world just like ours except (a) in Canada, eh and (b) in the recent past the "rules" changed such that both the Light/Sparks (empowering superpowers - and thus heroes and villains) and the Dark (empowering magic, and thus magic-users and magical creatures) exist - often in conflict. It's fundamentally a simplistic concept that in the hands of a lesser writer would likely have turn ...more
Jon
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a good follow-up. Told from a different characters perspective, but not a re-telling of the first story. It was about as fun as the first, but I didn't like it as much. I think because the main character of this one (Jools) was a little more dark a character than K was, in the first one. Not dark as in "muahahaha I will destroy the world", rather dark as in "alcoholic to cope with my problems." Which, mind you, was done well, it just added a little more seriousness to what was going to ...more
Liz (Quirky Cat)
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Loaded is a sequel to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault. However, I never read the first book before I started in on this one, and I had absolutely no trouble following along with what happened. Sure, I likely missed some context, inside jokes, and things like that. But that’s okay, I still enjoyed They Promised Me the Gun Wasn’t Lo
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Mike
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I enjoyed the first in this series very much; this one a bit less, primarily because of the main character. It was very skillfully done, though, and entertaining.

It needed to be skillful, because the author saddled himself with some drawbacks. His characters are all excessively powerful, with several unrelated superpowers, each of which on its own would be enough for many superheroes. The main character of this book, Jools, is "human maximum" in any ability you can name (with exceptions I'll no
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Raj
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, superhero
I loved All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault and timed it such that I finished it just as the sequel was released. This book focuses on Jools, another of the four housemates who get caught in a lab explosion and gained superpowers. She's the jock of the group, and the one who's struggling most with her studies. This combination ends her up with immediate knowledge of anything that's part of the corpus of public knowledge and Olympic-level mastery of any human skill.

Despite these skill
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EscapistBookReviews
Summary: This is a sequel to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault. It follows a different member of the super-team, but tells a similar type of story, in which the protagonists deal with a superhero-level crisis, while the viewpoint character sorts out their personality problems and grows as a person. Anyway, the POV character in this one is Jools, whose power is “being human-max in everything but not actually super in anything.” Before becoming super, she was something of a fuck-up, a ...more
J.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gardner's The Dark vs Spark series has quickly become my favorite recent book series. The stories are set in a world where the 1% have used their money to gain immortality from The Dark and become vampires, werewolves, etc. and The Light has responded by turning random people into superheroes or Sparks. The protagonists are four college roommates in Canada, all different science majors, who gain superhero powers and must work together to try and save protect their town.

Each book features a diffe
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Sebastian H
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What starts as light-hearted enough to qualify as an entertaining comic-booky novel, ends up showing enough gravitas to sucker-punch some really interesting ideas about superheroes, supervillains, and how each manipulate each other (and the public at large) while being manipulated themselves by the Light and the Dark' ageless conflict.

(view spoiler)
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Tim Fiester
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four-plus stars. The book's story was a lot of fun, with some great twists. My only complaint is the protagonist: It was tiresome hearing that she's "Olympic-level" in every little thing she does (for example, chemistry, lock picking, and so on), which meant that most things weren't all that hard for her (this was the same complaint I had about the protagonist of "Ready Player One"). Luckily for the reader, Jules has the common sense of a 10-year-old with the libido of a teenager; this is what m ...more
Henry Lazarus
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
love fun tales of superheroes and James Alan Gardner delivers in a second tale of Jools and her friends who became super in a world with darklings like vampires and demons and sparks. They Promised Me The Gun Wasn't Loaded (ebook from Tor) tells of a bazooka possibly created by the supervillain Diamond. Robin Hood and his gang want to steal the device, and their capture of Jools, somehow puts her in the middle of the theft. With lots of super fighting and impossible odds, Jools confronts her ad ...more
Geoff Clarke
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another fun ride from Gardner - lots of explosions and fighting. Gardner does a great job in both books dropping the reader into the action right away.

It did not grip me as much as the first book did. Jools is a great character to see events through, but I was not fully convinced about her character. There's a long piece of action in a totally different place that didn't wow me.

Even so, I hope there are more volumes. I want to see the undergraduate female superhxxxx sparks ride again.
Jennifer Gottschalk
Dec 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
The title was possibly the best ting about this one. It's a superhero / fantasy story with a weak plot and strong female cast.

If you enjoy superhero comics and are into teenage fiction, this one might pass muster. If you are a self respecting adult, save yourself some time and give this one a miss.

Regrettably there were no redeeming features or hidden depths this time around. They say you can't judge a book by its cover but this time you can.
Justin
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was nice to get the perspective of a new hero from the first book. The constant spiraling off topic/plot and the relentless "I'll do X cause I'm an Olympic level X-doer" was draining, but if you can get past that (which is easier in print than via Audible, but i managed), than you'll experience a great story of self discovery and some dope super hero action scenes. 3.5/5
Nicole Luiken
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Canadian superheroes! Just as much fun as book one All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault. This time around we get a different narrator: Jools, who of course has a different superpower than Zircon in book one though they are part of the same superhero team. It took me a little while to adjust to Jools, but I was strongly hooked by her Mad Genius blackouts. Good action scenes.
Joan Wendland
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This follow up to All Those Explosions Were Someone Else’s Fault continues the fun at breakneck speed. Gardner continues to deliver with expert pacing and a boundless imagination. Looking forward to more sequels!
Heidi
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books-read
This series is shaping up to be a lot of fun. I look forward to book three!
Hilary Williams
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
excellent followup to the first in the series. Be keepng a lookout for the next one.
Breane Ross
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW! I read the first book and loved it but this book is even better. Definitely recommend it!!!
Bibliobabe
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
LOVE this series!! And in a rare case, the second one was even better than the first!! Such great characters, funny but also thought provoking. Like Sparks, this book is more than what you see!
Danielle Benich
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Lisa
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Nov 26, 2018
Hobart
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
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When I read the first book in the series, All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault, back in January, I said "the sequel can't get here fast enough." I didn't quite expect to be reading it 11 months later, but I'm okay with that.

It's just a couple of weeks after the events of the previous book, and the newly formed team of superheroes has gone home for Christmas break. Now with just a few days before classes start up again, the team
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Raised in Simcoe and Bradford, Ontario, James Alan Gardner earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Applied Mathematics from the University of Waterloo.

A graduate of the Clarion West Fiction Writers Workshop, Gardner has published science fiction short stories in a range of periodicals, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Amazing Stories. In 1989, his short story "Children o
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Other books in the series

Dark/Spark (2 books)
  • All Those Explosions Were Someone Else's Fault