Skylark by Meagan Spooner
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?
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
That thing about patience being a virtue definitely applied to me as I read this. And just when things were falling into place, things went kaput. Still the bits I did like, I loved:
Its three portions are worlds apart, each with something to offer, each one so different from the one before it. Consider Part One with all the clockwork descriptives and vague references to magic and what’s it. I had a hard time understanding what was what. In fact, a couple of moments had me all:
Yet all those references to ‘harvesting,’ and me not knowing what the hell she was referring to, well, all that were enough to have me reading on. That’s when things took a turn for the dark and terrifying and hopeless. I had the twin feelings of horror and fascination in me. What was this I’d walked into? Take her descriptions of a woman not quite human and her references to Renewables. Then take all those too friendly people? It’s what I’d imagine feeling were I Hansel or Gretel. As in, Why, it’s a cookie covered cottage! I know I shouldn’t get close… but I just couldn’t help it!
Then shift to Part Two with its subtle change in the scary mood, from being all science-lab-basement-creepy things turning into something more kick-ass in a catch me if you can way. Only I definitely didn’t want her to get caught. There be Shadow People, guys!
Moments still had me feeling like I knew nothing (see image above,) but I kept with it because, you see, here we’re introduced to the new guy. And when asked by the same if she trusted him, her response shone a light on her. Praise be, here was something different! Her reaction to the guy, was not what I was expecting. It was so refreshingly different. In a way that had me exclaiming, “How awesomely, thinking could she get?” Still, there was something to the guy and apparently something to the girl as well that drew them each to each other.
Then thank the gods again, the thinking continued and I found myself in Part Three. It’s here’s where things shifted down, a little more like finding a lost city that’s purposefully been lost. It’s also here that things were starting to click together:
|I get it!|
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