Published: August 1, 2012
Carolrhoda Lab, 344 pages, hardcover
Goodreads Summary: 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?
I originally requested Skylark on NetGalley when Anna texted me some nonsensical capitals about shock value and dystopian stuff. Well, how can I argue with capitals? Homer Simpson said it best:
Preach it, Homer.
Well anyway, I got denied so I was a little bruised. But then out of the blue Meagan Spooner is all "hey little blogger, wanna read my book?" YES, MEAGAN, I DO. And I did. And it was good. I was a little nervous in the beginning. It had a very Hunger Games feel about it and there was a lot of internal narrative. But I mean, Lark is pretty frickin' alone in her world, so who the frick else is she gonna talk to? She thinks a LOT. But she's smart, and I can get down with an intelligent protagonist.
And is this book a touch steampunk? Because I'm pretty sure Lark's mechanical pixie is the essential touch to qualify as steampunk. Sure, I don't know what that means, but there were lots of words like "clockwork" and "machines," and that is good enough for me. Know what else is good enough for me? The budding romance. Oh, it's slow and melty and careful and dangerous. And SO WELL WRITTEN. Spooner's writing is scrumptious. I think I gained 5lbs reading it.
The best part of Skylark was the unexpected ending. My stomach dropped. I had to reread a particular passage approximately 46 times to make sure. I had to make damn sure that Meagan Spooner just did it that way. It hurt me a lot. And the more I think about it, a week after reading it, the more I realize how brilliant she is for making ending it that way. I have no idea how this is going to turn out. Well, I have no idea how Lark and Oren can overcome this. I love unforeseeable obstacles and I love it when authors take chances and risks such as the nuclear bomb dropped in that ending.
More people need to know about this book. It's a crime against LITERATURE if you don't read it.