Book Review: Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino

Spark and the League of Ursus  by Robert Repino Genre:  Middle-grade fantasy Synopsis:   Spark is not your average teddy bear. She’s soft an...

Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino

Genre: Middle-grade fantasy

Spark is not your average teddy bear. She’s soft and cuddly, sure, but she’s also a fierce warrior. At night she fulfills her sacred duty: to protect the household from monsters. But Spark’s owner Loretta is growing up and thinks she doesn’t need her old teddy anymore.

When a monster unlike any other descends on the quiet home, everything changes. Children are going missing, and the monster wants Loretta next. Only Spark can stop it. She must call upon the ancient League of Ursus—a secret alliance of teddy bears who are pledged to protect their human friends. Together with an Amazon-princess doll and a timid sock monkey, the bears are all that stands between our world and the one that lies beneath. It will be a heroic chapter in the history of the League . . . if the bears live to tell the tale.

Content/Trigger Warnings: kidnapping/abduction, lost child, trauma

Overall rating:  ★★★☆☆

I guess I don’t read a lot of middle grade books but Spark and the League of Ursus was much different than I anticipated. I thought Spark was adorable, and maybe I just don’t quite understand how children are at particular age groups, but Loretta seemed incredibly advanced for her age (I think?). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing whatsoever. I do think kids are probably far more advanced these days, especially technologically, but it was the first thing that really shocked me in this story. But Loretta and her brother (the humans) aren’t the leads in this story. They have a great purpose in the book, sure, but their toys are the stars of the show. I was very much reminded of The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting mixed with Toy Story, of course. 

My issue with this book is that it was just lacking so much. I felt like everything was quite surface level and the connecting pieces I needed were just nonexistent. Again, I don’t read a ton of middle grade fiction so I’m unsure if that’s typical, but it all felt so very underwhelming.

I liked the idea of the plot, and I do like the smart children, but I definitely could’ve definitely used some more development in the story itself. I needed things to be a little more hashed out. But overall, I think the book was very cute and empowering in many ways.

*I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.

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