Skylark by Meagan Spooner
Published: 1 August 2012 (Carolrhoda Lab)
Amazon: Hardback (available now) Kindle (pre-order) Paperback (pre-order)
Waterstone's: Paperback (pre-order)
Book Depository: Hardback (available now) Paperback (pre-order)
Source: Own (received as present)
Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
I've been wanting to read Skylark for a long time so I was very happy when it arrived at Christmas! Skylark follows Lark as she ponders why it is taking so long for her to be harvested. In a world where magic is taken from children, Lark finds herself in a dangerous situation when it becomes there is more to her powers that first thought.
The start of the book had me hooked straight away. There were a lot of references to things that weren't explained straight away so I was curious to find out more about the world in which the book is set. I loved the way the information was teased and slowly revealed. Once everything started to become a bit clearer I just fell in love with the world and the description. The writing was beautiful and everything about this book was just so magical!
Early on we see Lark approaching the Harvest, a sort of ceremony everyone must go through. The first chapters set around the Institute (the government building) were really creepy, and at the same time did a great job of explaining everything about the history world - which I found really interesting - and about Lark herself. Later on the book turns into more of a journey and a quest for Lark and these were my favourite parts of the book.
Early on there are vast passages where Lark is pretty much alone with nobody to talk to and I think it says a lot about her character that the book didn't suffer for this. She was strong and intelligent enough to remain interesting and keep me engaged with the story. It had that sense of adventure as she must venture out into the real world she knows so little about and it became a tale of survival.
I really enjoyed the magical elements of this book, from the clockwork pixies to the pockets of magic that scatter the earth, making strange things happen within them. It had the dystopian feel of a controlling society and a war that had passed and changed the world for good, which I loved. But it stood out so much from other books in the genre.
There were plenty of fascinating characters besides Lark herself to keep the story fresh, and I really liked the constant guessing of just how significant people were and whether they were bad or good. There were some great villains as well.
I absolutely adored this book and the ending leaves me wanting so much more! I adored the writing and the imaginative world Spooner has created. I'd highly recommend this book!
What to read next: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner, the unreleased second book in the Skylark trilogy
Books like this: Breathe by Sarah Crossan