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?
Meagan Spooner’s Skylark was recommended to me by my very best reading friend, my sister, Anna. Aww, cheers, lovely sis. Anyhoo. I must say my sister and I have similar tastes that tend to bob and weave. Lately, I’ve leaned more toward the contemporary side of YA and NA, while she’s stayed strictly with the paranormal and dystopian YA. It makes me a little sad, because we’re reading primarily different books now, and haven’t been able to discuss a book together in quite some time.
So when she recommended Skylark to me, I was like Eh, okay. But, somewhere not so deep in my subconscious, I knew I was going to struggle with this book. And, let me tell you, it was not because of the writing – which was FANTABULOUS. No. It was the story.
Lark is a 16yo girl living in a city controlled by magic. At a certain age all the children are harvested for their magic – sacrificed to the city – and given an occupation. The end. But Lark is different. She’s a Renewable, an endless magical resource, and a promise of safety for her city’s future. However, becoming this energy source for her city will require an unimaginable sacrifice – she will become the city’s slave and live in constant pain.
When the story began, the first thing I noticed was the writing. Amazing. Truly. The author has a fluid way with words, creating a vibrant and grim picture of the current world. The world building was great. Once I was into the story, I didn’t feel lost or confused, including when Lark escapes the city. So it wasn’t that it was lackluster or boring, it just wasn’t what I was in the mood to read at the time. I passed this book over for others, and ended up finishing it over a span of several weeks – which I never do. Never.
When I finally did buckle in and decide I was going to finish it, I was immediately drawn into the second half, reading wide-eyed and ignoring my child for periods of time because Holy Surprises, Batman!
My take on Lark – I liked her, didn’t love her. She did not come off as sixteen. She felt much younger and too innocent. I guess I can understand with how sheltered of a live she’s lived in her city, but I still thought she was a touch too innocent. The other characters were pretty wonderful. It’s hard to say much about them because they were all very background. The story mostly revolves around Lark and her experience. And there are betrayals I don’t want to give away by discussing the character’s, er, character.
In a nutshell, the story was wonderful. Anyone who likes magic will LOVE this book. Now that’s it’s over I can honestly say I did love it. I just wish I’d have loved it over a few days rather than weeks.
There was a rawness to his voice that cut me more than any anger would have. "I know," I said, keeping my gaze ahead of me, on the fractured surface of the water. "I'm sorry."
He had been so like an animal that first time I'd seen him. Then, I would have believed him to be a monster. The way he'd gazed at me, as the ghosts faded into mist around us, with such shock and such hunger, had shaken me to my core. The blood-stained face, the bestial grace. Why hadn't I remembered it later? Because he saved my life. Again and again. And because I learned, or thought I had learned, to see through the dispassionate exterior. Had I truly learned, or had he been growing more and more human, the longer he stayed in the aura of the my magic?
AND... Ready for it?
- Between December 2nd and 3rd, post a pic of yourself as a baby, and/or;
- Tell us a story about when you were a baby (no doubt you can't quite remember it yourself, but you've probably heard some stories from other members of your family).
Here's my story. I actually had to call my mom this morning because I couldn't remember any baby stories of facts about myself. I do, however, remember using this picture for a 2nd grade contest. It was a last-to-be-picked kind of thing. And I won. Because everyone thought I was a boy, haha!
My mom said I was a very independent baby, toddle, and child. That does not surprise me as I am a bit too independent as an adult. She said when I was 18months, she went away for a weekend retreat. When she returned, I turned my nose up at her, ignored her, and would not look at her for TWO DAYS! Wow, that's some determination.
I'll be posting my favorite Christmas in the next week or so. Think about your favorite Christmas story. I wanna hear!