Saturday, July 28, 2012

Early Review: Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Skylark (The Skylark Trilogy #1)
Skylark (Skylark #1)
by Meagan Spooner

Expected publication: August 1st 2012 by Carolrhoda Lab

Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.

Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret – but can she stay alive long enough to find them?

Carolrhoda Lab


My Review

First line: The din of the clockwork dawn was loudest in the old sewers, a great whirring and clanking of gears as the artificial sun warmed up.

Last line: We left the field of metallic corpses behind and walked on across the vally, beneath the vast and terrible beauty of the dawn.

Favorite quote: "I'm not certain." (You'll know why when you read it. ;p )

Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley is an Unharvested. She has been living inside the Wall all her life, with Institute rationing everything she eats, wears, how much water she uses, where she goes, what she does... but Lark wants nothing more than being Harvested. Which is why she broke into her school to see the Harvest list before Harvest Day. Unfortunately, her name wasn't on it. But the pixies, small mecanized spies were. Afraid the pixies would call her in as an intruder and send her for Adjustment, Lark releases her inner energy. Her magic. She uses the Resource and destroys the Pixie... something she was not aware was possible.

On Harvest Day, she decides to skip school knowing very well her name would not be called... that is, until her -very mean- older brother comes to get her, congratulatinh her on finally being harvested and mentioning she was the only one this time. But Lark knew very well why she was the only one summoned for this Harvest day. They somehow found out about her illegal use of the Resource and want to send her to Adjustment... but soon Lark finds out that there is so much more to the Harvest cerimony than she could have ever imagined... and why nobody seems to remember anything about it, except for the feast afterwards. 

Lark wanted to be Harvested, and Harvested she was... multiple times. Why? Because that was the only way the Institute could be sure she was a rechargeable. And rechargeables become human batteries that fuel the Resource of the city for the rest of their very short, very painful life, as Lark soon finds out from the tied-up/tubed-up woman who keeps talking to her in her mind, saying 'We are the same' and 'Run. Find the others like us, in Iron Wood.'

But Iron Wood is outside the Wall, and nobody has ever come back. Now Lark needs to make some very serious decisions in her life... and face a whole new world. Outside the Wall.

Skylark was nothing like what I expected. It had a good, if a bit confusing, start. It was also quite fast-paced and things became slightly clearer with every page read. (please notice I said slightly). That change, though, when our heroine finally goes through the Wall. That's when the book starts to drag. Terribly. And all we read about is how Lark is afraid, confused, startled by silly things, eating this and that, drinking from here and there, sleeping, waking up, walking, eating, drinking... argh! It takes quite a while for the plot to get back on course, to something really important/interesting to happen. To (finally!) see another human. And then things get intense again. Then they slow down. And get interesting again. And then... well, I guess you get my point.

I had trouble staying focused on the story. I guess it just wasn't for me. Sometimes it felt more like reading a very slow-paced steampunk set in the future than an actual dystopian story. And I'm not exactly a fan of steampunk, you see. But I did like the intelligent, animated piece of metal/pixie, Nix. She was very amusing, if not a bit disconcerting. She made for some very funny and mysterious moments. 

Oren was a complete treat. A real delight. I was already half in love with the guy only two pages after he first appeared. And I may be a bit suspicious to say so, what with me being a lover of savages/barbarians with soft hearts and all, but I dare say I won't be the only one with a crush on him when you guys get to the end of the book. Kris might become a competitor, too.

Now Lark... well, to me that girl was simply a total waste of good magic, water and food sometimes. She was very careless, very mean and always very trusting/distrusting in the wrong times. Ok, so she was sixteen, lost, alone and confused. But that's not an excuse for some really idiotic moves. What a douche. However, she did have her good moments. So I can forgive her. Sort of. >.>

Skylark is a very interesting take on the futuristic/post-war situation. With the added bonus of magic. So it's more like fantasy and, as I said before, a steampunk set in the future than dystopia. It has a lot of stalling and loose ends that will probably be explained in the next books, but it's still quite enjoyable. :)

* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I saw this and was interested, so I really appreciate this early and honest opinion! Too bad you had a hard time staying focused on the story though... the premise is pretty interesting.


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