So, to start with, a little background. Sparkler is a monthly electronic magazine, modeled after the massive Japanese manga monthlys (the most famous in the West being Shonen Jump) and aimed primarily at a female readership, though I think male readers would enjoy it, too. I became aware of the magazine when I stumbled across their Kickstarter to support Year Five. (I shudder to think how much of my money Kickstarter has redistributed at this point…) I ended up backing it at a tier that not only gave me a subscription to Year Five, but also gave me all the back issues.
That was actually a mistake, I think; I should have gone with “read as ebooks” rather than “read as a magazine.” Trying to remember all the ongoing plots is sort of frustrating, and I think I was probably losing a lot of details in my head in the meantime….
Anyway, so my overall review is “yeah, this is a very cool idea, and I think when I’ve read the other four years, I’ll definitely feel like it was worth my money…though I think I may download as many of the free-to-members ebooks as I can to catch up rather than just counting on the back issues.” But I thought I’d give you some individual reviews of the titles that I’ve read enough of to have a good grip on. (Like, see the really cool cover on Issue 12, there, with the gorgeous art? I couldn’t possibly review that one, ’cause I’ve only read the one chapter.)
I’ll start with the one that finished first.