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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?

333 pages, Hardcover

First published August 1, 2012

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About the author

Meagan Spooner

18 books3,349 followers
New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. She's the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 668 reviews
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
September 6, 2012
Sky­lark is the most tech­ni­cally pro­fi­cient and well-written novel that I’ve ever strug­gled to fin­ish. No doubt Spooner is an author to watch.

The world build­ing of Sky­lark is both imag­i­na­tive and rich. It has a fas­ci­nat­ing back­story set in a dan­ger­ous and vivid world. By the end of the novel I was rather attached to the char­ac­ters and invested in Lark’s and Oren’s strug­gles. I cheered them on and felt a lit­tle heart pal­pi­ta­tion at the impos­si­bil­ity of their circumstances.

Your enjoy­ment of this novel will hinge on what kind of reader you are. Do you like writ­ing so ani­mated and dynamic that it leaves you feel­ing as if you’ve reached through the pages and felt every­thing the author intended you to feel? Do you like a slow and sen­sual walk through a character’s jour­ney as if you are tak­ing it your­self? Then, by all means, go get this book. Read it. You will love it.

I was sim­ply the wrong reader. I don’t typ­i­cally like jour­ney sto­ries with lots of walk­ing from A to B where every ache along the way is explored. I like fights. I like blood. I like sex. I like action. I like sus­pense. This novel has a lot of that (Well not the sex) but I wasn’t feel­ing it due to the plot which sim­ply wasn’t grip­ping enough to keep me com­ing back. I enjoyed the book while I read it, but strug­gled to muster the enthu­si­asm once it was put down.

But I really have to hand it to Spooner. It’s just been so long since I’ve seen writ­ing like this that I almost wish I’d loved it more.

“Then I looked up.

And saw the sky.

The wind had blown the day’s thick cloud cover away, and a bot­tom­less black­ness yawned above, pock­marked with stars. A sliver of moon cast the sickly, color-leaching hint of light across the ruined city. There was no end to the sky, noth­ing hold­ing me down on the ground. I felt it reach down to me, threaten to swal­low me. I seemed to fall upward, and threw myself down to stop it, knock­ing the breath out of my lungs.”

I could lit­er­ary­wank to that for hours. I feel the ver­tigo hit me every time I read this pas­sage. There’s like three pas­sages includ­ing this one about the sky and I read them while feel­ing my lungs con­strict in sym­pa­thy. I felt her ter­ror like I’ve rarely felt phys­i­cally for a book char­ac­ter before. I could see that exact sky above me, wait­ing to drag me up into the nothingness.

While read­ing this book, I often just went back a reread pas­sages of some of the most superb writ­ing I’ve seen in a long time. It was enough to make me shake my head, stare glumly at my own man­u­script and start press­ing ‘delete’. Truly, I just wish that the story had focused more on the nec­es­sary story telling ele­ments instead of cov­er­ing every missed meal and blis­tered foot. But that’s a per­sonal thing and it’s going to be dif­fer­ent for every reader.

I will be des­per­ately look­ing our for Spooner’s next novel in the hopes that the plot and pac­ing is more to my speed, but that her won­der­ful qual­ity of prose hasn’t diminished.

*An ARC of Sky­lark was pro­vided to me by the pub­lisher. No money or favours were exchanged for this review.
319 reviews1,885 followers
May 24, 2012
I don’t give out many one star ratings. (EDIT 7/21: Never mind. Ever since I started reading more books in the YA genre I've been giving plenty of one star ratings. When I wrote this review, though, a one star rating was rare from me. Now? Not so much.)

So Congratulations, Skylark! I reward you with a single, lonely, star. You should be honored of your crappiness.

Just so you know, I did not finish this book, but I made it up to 53%, which I think is an accomplishment, given how much this book was a struggle to get through. Clearly, I don’t know how things work out in the end, and if the things I rant about are fixed in the end, I apologize, but I couldn’t read this any longer.

Now, let’s get this review started.

I tried to like you, Skylark. I really, truly did. You started off… Interesting, to say the least, and I wanted you to be good. But I think it was when I made it to 30% that I realized you wouldn’t be good. You started off mysterious, and I wanted to know what was going to happen, but then everything just stopped, got boring, and it hurt me to read any longer.

My first complaint I have with this book is that saying there is a war and that’s why everything is what it is does not make up for proper world building! That just shows me that the author is lazy and doesn’t want to come up with a good reason why the world in her book is how it is, so just puts something in and says that’s the reasoning behind everything, and doesn’t even bother to explain.

Here’s what I think went through Meagan Spooner’s head while writing Skylark:

Hmm… Maybe I should write a young-adult novel. Let me just come up with a few ideas…

Okay, so… Umm… It could be a fantasy… Yes, yes that’s good… Maybe throw a little steampunk in there, a little dystopia, too… Oh yeah, that’ll make it perfect; everyone will love this.

What else? Oh yeah! Maybe I’ll throw in some magic; that should be cool. Ooh! And pixies! Yeah, everyone loves pixies! Aw, but how do I make it all come together? Oh, how about this. I’ll say there was a war, but I won’t describe the war in any way, just say it was there. Perfect!

And so began Skylark (or at least what I’ve read of it).

Okay, moving onto my second complaint: Right from the start, this book just felt so rushed. It felt like I was reading a book that was going in fast-forward. So many things happened in very few pages, and I don’t know how I could’ve read the other half of the book like that. It. Was. Torture. Here’s what happened in probably the first fifty pages (I’ll put it in a spoiler tag, but they’re pretty minor):

If you read that, do you see how much happened in a short amount of pages? That’s where I thought it was interesting, too. Then it all went downhill to the point where I just couldn’t stand reading it any longer.

There’s one more interesting part, though, where Lark gets somehow trapped in a house, and a certain scene of a family’s death keeps replaying and replaying, and she can’t get the family’s attention. That was when I actually had some hope for the book, and thought it would get better.

But then she sees a boy in the house, and he’s all dirty, and he could see her. They have a stare-down for a little bit, and then he jumps out the window. At that point I was laughing. I don’t think that was Spooner’s intention.

I think I’ve read enough of the book to form an opinion and say that Skylark was boring, confusing and so bad it was laughable. I have zero interest in finishing it, or picking up any of the sequels when they’re released.

This book may be for you (it seems I’m one of the few who think negatively of Skylark) and I hope you like it, and I can actually see many of my friends liking it. I absolutely did not.

Oh yeah, another thing: If you were intrigued by
Sixteen year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.

like I was, sorry, but from what I’ve read, this book has nothing to do with never seeing the sky.

Once again, another promising book goes down the crapper.
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
September 9, 2012
Skylark is the most technically proficient and well-written novel that I've ever struggled to finish. No doubt Spooner is an author to watch.

The world building of Skylark is both imaginative and rich. It has a fascinating backstory set in a dangerous and vivid world. By the end of the novel I was rather attached to the characters and invested in Lark's and Oren's struggles. I cheered them on and felt a little heart palpitation at the impossibility of their circumstances.

Your enjoyment of this novel will hinge on what kind of reader you are. Do you like writing so animated and dynamic that it leaves you feeling as if you've reached through the pages and felt everything the author intended you to feel? Do you like a slow and sensual walk through a character's journey as if you are taking it yourself? Then, by all means, go get this book. Read it. You will love it.

I was simply the wrong reader. I don't typically like journey stories with lots of walking from A to B where every ache along the way is explored. I like fights. I like blood. I like sex. I like action. I like suspense. This novel has a lot of that (Well not the sex) but I wasn't feeling it due to the plot which simply wasn't gripping enough to keep me coming back. I enjoyed the book while I read it, but struggled to muster the enthusiasm once it was put down.

But I really have to hand it to Spooner. It's just been so long since I've seen writing like this that I almost wish I'd loved it more.

"Then I looked up.

And saw the sky.

The wind had blown the day's thick cloud cover away, and a bottomless blackness yawned above, pockmarked with stars. A sliver of moon cast the sickly, color-leaching hint of light across the ruined city. There was no end to the sky, nothing holding me down on the ground. I felt it reach down to me, threaten to swallow me. I seemed to fall upward, and threw myself down to stop it, knocking the breath out of my lungs."

I could literarywank to that for hours. I feel the vertigo hit me every time I read this passage. There's like three passages including this one about the sky and I read them while feeling my lungs constrict in sympathy. I felt her terror like I've rarely felt physically for a book character before. I could see that exact sky above me, waiting to drag me up into the nothingness.

While reading this book, I often just went back a reread passages of some of the most superb writing I've seen in a long time. It was enough to make me shake my head, stare glumly at my own manuscript and start pressing 'delete'. Truly, I just wish that the story had focused more on the necessary story telling elements instead of covering every missed meal and blistered foot. But that's a personal thing and it's going to be different for every reader.

I will be desperately looking our for Spooner's next novel in the hopes that the plot and pacing is more to my speed, but that her wonderful quality of prose hasn't diminished.

*An ARC of Skylark was provided to me by the publisher. No money or favours were exchanged for this review.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
August 10, 2012
Combining magic, science-fiction, and a scary futuristic setting, Skylark is original in its concept that brings forth a dark, twisted world where magic, and monsters, run rampant.

I was wary at first because I wasn't sure how well the mix of dystopian and magic would mingle, but I found myself quite captivated by it all, though this did not happen right away. At the very start there's a lot of confusion when it comes to the world building: What exactly is this harvesting and why is it done? Where does the magic come from? How does society live before and after the harvesting? These are some of the questions that accumulates after the first few chapters, making it hard to get into initially. Due to this showing rather than telling style of development, it takes a while to discern the world that Lark is trying to escape, as well as the one she's newly entering, but we do get there eventually. It's plenty frightening from the very beginning, however, even disturbing at times, which is what kept me immersed in this terrible future our kind now resides in. Being a big fan of darker dystopians, I just knew this was going to be one heck of a ride.

After a little while, once the story gets going, the world building becomes clearer, and my confusion turned into pure excitement at the acknowledgment of all that is lurking in this unforgiving world. I especially enjoyed the addition of magic. Even though I'm not convinced of its foundation, it's impressive with unimaginable potential for plot developments in following installments - where I also hope to get a further look into the magic's conception: Where it originates, and how it went about changing our world so drastically. We are told some, but only vaguely so. In addition to this magic that powers machines and sustains cities, we're propelled into such a dreary world, a vast emptiness that, once full of life, is inhabited by nothing but dangerous beasts - both mechanical and unnatural. This is what Lark has to journey in, following cryptic directions to escape a life of torture.

This grim and threatening world is made extremely vivid by the brilliant descriptions that Meagan uses to lure us into it. It's hard to not get engrossed in a story where wonderful imagery illustrates everything so clearly; the desolation is sensed, and the wilderness is a character in itself. Walking these wastelands are Lark and Nix - her pixie companion - who make the perfect team to lead this story. Lark is not an especially strong heroine, yet she's believable. She's just an average girl in the wild; she gets startled easily and she's sometimes careless, but she's not unintelligent. I found her very easy to like as we get to see a lot of her true self throughout her journey, and she does grow quite a bit while learning from her experiences. Oren, however, is the most intriguing character with his mysterious and ominous vibe, making him an instant favorite. The direction that Meagan takes these characters and the plot is both unexpected and unpredictable.

In a wonderful fantasy and science-fiction atmosphere, Skylark brings something unique and satisfying to the dystopian genre. Don't hesitate to pick this one up!

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Danielle.
396 reviews65 followers
August 21, 2012
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

Won from http://thebooksmugglers.com/

I’ll admit, I’d heard nothing, seen nothing, and had no knowledge of Skylark until someone retweeted Meagan Spooner’s “Sky’s the Limit” contest, in which every entrant would win a prize. I, being a sucker for free stuff, entered and the author herself tweeted me a list of other contests she was running to promote the novel. I entered those too and won a prize pack from thebooksmugglers.com, a signed hardcover, bookmark, postcard, tattoos, pin… I swear the swag multiplied. But it’s not the gift of free stuff that earns Skylark a 5 star review, nor is it its drop-dead gorgeous cover. Skylark is practically engineered to be everything I love about YA fantasy, and it does it very, very well.

Lark Ainsley is 16. In her city, the last city left after the wars, young teens are taken to a rite of passage. Their innate magic is harvested at a banquet before they are given their grown-up job assignments. Lark has never been chosen and is therefore stuck between childhood and adulthood, a dud with no magic. That is, until harvest day when she accidentally uses a large amount of “the Resource,” first to free herself from being stuck in a tunnel and then to destroy a pixie, clockwork creations designed to sense magic use and bring the user to the authorities. For those keeping score at home, that’s an older female teen protagonist in a steampunk/dystopian society discovering the power within her. If we had a “Danielle’s Faves” checklist, we’d be going for the full monty. (Additionally, someone going full monty concludes that checklist, and therefore keeps Skylark from being perfect. Much the pity.)

This display changes The Institute’s plans for the year, abandoning the other harvests and picking Lark as the sole lucky citizen. If you smell a trap, you too have read a book this century. As the book blurb says, Lark can regenerate magic, making her the first Renewable in the city and the greatest source of power ever. The first third of the book, which is so well plotted that it could be its own novel, details Lark’s journey though the Academy: their experiments, her torture, and, finally, her escape. It’s tense and emotional, with imagery that is utterly horrifying.

From there we embark on a journey outside the city. Spooner does a fantastic job of creating realistic emotions in her characters. Lark’s agoraphobia when faced for the first time with the sky is a genius move that most authors would have missed. Her loneliness and isolation seem palpable and explain her headlong rush to join up with the few side characters met. Of the side characters, Oren the wild boy and Nix the reprogrammed pixie, I fell in particular love with Nix. I want whole novellas of Nix flying around, learning new words, commanding armies of other pixies... Nix rocked. (We can now check off the snarky sidekick box.)

Lark is searching for other Renewables like her, crossing forests and plains to find a place she learned of during her time at the Institute. She gets dirty, battered, goes hungry, and fights to survive. What first seems like a blessing, there is no magic outside the city, is a curse that drives non-Renewables mad. Luckily there are pockets of magic to hide from the shadow-creatures in. Unluckily, those are filled with perils of their own. The entire second third of the novel is Lark struggling, and often failing, to adapt to a new life in the wilderness and find where she belongs.

The last section is, of course, the climax. It won’t surprise anyone that Lark does, in fact, find the Renewable’s city. From there surprises and twists came pretty fast and furious. Some I saw. Several, surprised me. (Check.) The final confrontation was exciting, although Lark does mysteriously get a new power in the 11th hour that feels a bit deus ex machina. The end managed to satisfy while still leaving room open for the sequel.

The first 95 pages of Skylark are my favorite, of the novel and of the year to date. I loved the glimpses of the world we got, from the mechanical sun to the lack of strong family units. Lark is incredibly likable. She’s resourceful and brave, but also frightened in a real and appropriate way. She doesn’t make perfect decisions and is entirely too trusting. She’s tenacious, but thinks about taking the easy way out. In short, she’s, again, a realistic heroine with flaws beyond “clumsy”. (Checky check.) And in a refreshing change of pace, I’m not sure she’s ever physically described, except for things like “dirty” or “blood-soaked”. If she was, her looks don’t define her. Lark’s not graceful like a gazelle, with eyes that burn like emeralds. She’s just a girl, which made her struggles at the hands of the Institute so much more affecting. Her rush to escape kept me up well past my bedtime.

I was left with some questions that unfortunately were never answered, mostly with regards to the world and society. I’m a big proponent of show, don’t tell, (check,) but there is a balance required. We really have no insight into daily life in the city, how the class system works, or how roles change after harvest. Questions like “how do the pockets effect time,” or “how are the shadow-people made,” those I can see answered in the next books. I can’t imagine we’ll ever get back to “what DOES happen to duds,” or “wait, is there even a central government?”

In all, I thought Skylark was practically perfect. It’s imaginative and well written. It avoids so many YA tropes, (no insta-love here, folks,) without seeming try-hard. I fell in love with the characters and their struggles. While I have seen negative reviews that it didn’t live up to it’s promise, and I can respect that, I’ll be over here, waiting with bated breath for Shadowlark.
Profile Image for Stacey O'Neale.
Author 15 books846 followers
June 28, 2012
I first heard about this book at BEA (Book Expo America). One of my blogger friends snagged the ARC. Well, when she told me she stayed up reading until 5AM, I knew this was a book I had to read. The publisher approved my Netgalley request, and I read it the next day.

Skylark grabbed me from page one and never let go. Poor Lark lives her whole life feeling rejected because she was never chosen for harvest. When the day finally comes, she discovers why. And, hold crap is all I can really say about that. There are so many twists and turns to this story it’s crazy. Not to mention most of the characters are not what they seem, and everyone has an agenda.

You can read the rest of the review here:

Profile Image for Alice.
150 reviews33 followers
January 5, 2016
Overall pretty good and entertaining , although I felt that there was just to much of lark just describing her. Whole surrounding s , which that was quite boring .
I really wanted to love it but I just couldn't I didn't feel that much connection to the characters . Oren was great how he wanted to protect lark from the dark ones , and then there was the twist at the end that just sucked me back into the whole story , but I don't believe I will be reading the next book just didn't really do it for me .

3 weirdly interesting boring stars
6 reviews2 followers
January 20, 2012
Skylark was unexpected and enthralling. But before I talk about what I like about it, I think I should mention what it's not. I've read a lot of fantasy in the past - about an Amazon rainforest worth - and you can sometimes find the plotlines and the worlds a little formulaic. In many of these tomes, a character is introduced, and immediately you can categorise them as hearthrob, or the secretly-evil guy, or the guy-who-will-redeem-himself-only-to-die-in-the-last-scene. This book constantly surprised me - but in such a way that when twists were revealed, I realised that all the puzzle pieces were there.

I think what I liked most was how vivid the world of Skylark was. The concept behind it - that of a world running on magic, but with a limited supply - is very new, but at the same time echoes the complex issues that we struggle with today. There was an almost cinematic quality to the description of the scenes and scenery, and I could imagine this book working very well on screen or in a graphic novel.

I quickly became a fan of the main character, Lark. She was plucky and resourceful but with her own original voice. As a teacher, I always get a bit of a thrill when I find a YA book with a strong female lead character! Kris and Oren pulled at my heart-strings, and one scene in particular had me cursing aloud (much to the shock of the other passengers on the packed Indian overnight train that I was on at the time).

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's been a while since I've read anything that felt so fresh. I'm looking forward to the sequel (there is one, right???)
Profile Image for Ferdy.
944 reviews1,108 followers
August 15, 2012

The city Lark Ainsley lives in is surrounded by a wall powered by the 'Resource' (magic) of its citizens. The 'Resource' is Harvested at a very young age at the city's Institute. Lark has never been Harvested because she has no 'Resource'/magic. Everyone else her age has already been stripped of their magic and have done their part in powering the city.
When Lark is chosen to be Harvested, she's shocked to find that she is a Renewable and able to regenerate her innate powers everytime she's stripped of them. Lark's unique ability is valuable to the city, she is an infinite power resource. The Institute torture Lark for weeks, harvesting her powers. Lark's only chance of freedom means escaping the Institute and the city, she manages to break out and heads beyond the wall intent on finding a home with others like her.

-The first part of the book dragged and just consisted of Lark being in pain from getting Harvested repeatedly - it was boring. The middle of the book wasn't much better, once Lark was outside the Wall, she just wandered around aimlessly until she met Oren who helped her find the Iron Wood - the place she'd been told other people like her live. The last part of the book was pretty pointless, she spent most of the book looking for the Iron Wood and then new characters and new settings were introduced, only for Lark to leave at the end..WTF?! It just felt like a waste. The bulk of the book basically boiled down to Lark moving from point A to B - it was unimaginative and unoriginal.
The world building was rubbish - there was no explanation behind anything, it was like this is like this and that's like that because that's just the way it is. There was brief mentions of a past war causing this or that - but nothing was ever elaborated on. There was no reason given for the war or why the war caused certain things to happen - it was just lazy writing.

-I didn't like Lark AT ALL. She had no common sense, she was ungrateful, she was judgmental and she couldn't even look after herself. She was also stupid, an example being when Lark returned home after she escaped the Institute - why return to the first place they'd look for her? I don't expect heroines to know exactly what to do everytime they get in trouble - but what she did was just plain stupid. Where was her common sense? On top of that she then tells her brother everything that happened to her when she knows he cares more about his job than he does about her - she was so dumb to trust him.
As well as Lark being stupid she was useless, she didn't achieve anything without help from someone else - her escape from the Institute was orchestrated by them, her navigating outside the City and finding the Iron Wood was mainly down to a pixie and her starting fires to keep warm and finding food was down to Oren. She was a horrid heroine.

-The side characters were flat and forgettable. The most interesting characters were Oren and Nix and even they weren't all that great. The evul characters were obvious, they had no depth and came across as cartoonish. It was impossible to get attached to any of the side characters because Lark hardly made any effort to connect with them - when she did try to get close to anyone she'd only end up pushing them away again. More time should have been spent on giving the characters some layers and dimension instead of wasting words with long, dull descriptions and boring inner monologues.

If Lark had been a more likeable character or even a more entertaining one, I could have forgiven the rubbish plot and world building but she was an unsympathetic, dull heroine. I suspect the next book will be similar in that the bulk of the story will be spent with Lark traveling from A to B with a few obstacles thrown in her way for good measure. It probably won't be an interesting read so it's unlikely I'll get the second book.
Profile Image for Sofie |.
243 reviews152 followers
April 5, 2021
I reread some of my favourite parts last night.

Oh man, I forgot how much I LOVED this series. It got lost in the dystopia-craze of the 2010s, and I never really heard anyone talk about it, but my god, it's SO GOOD.

Magical. Dark. A compelling romance. Plots twists. Amazing world-building. A complicated main character.

I wish this series got more hype so I could talk about it with people!!
Profile Image for Ornella.
1,166 reviews80 followers
January 4, 2013
Ok, let's try this again.

4.5 Stars

Rounding up since the only reason I didn't like it was cause I'm still undecided whether I like the MC or not. I'll explain more later. The story is great, a dystopian world which relies on magic to sustain it. The imagery was excellent, I felt like I was there with her in the forest, the city, the Iron Wood, on those pockets of magic. The characters were all believable I loved Nix, greatest pixie queen ever! Never liked Kris from the start of the book, he cares for her in his own way but, I still don't like him at all. Gloriette reminded me a lot of Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter with her creepy voice and always bird-naming her. Then there is Oren, who I loved! and I hate the whole situation with him D: kinda saw it coming but doesn't mean I like it!

Now to explain Lark, I'll let Kris do it, since he described it(my problem with Lark) pretty well: "Back there you were something else. Frightened and weak and needing every inch of help you could get. Needy. But now...you're so different. You seem taller. You're strong and you know what you're doing. You don't need anyone now." At the start of the book, she would get like panic attacks for anything. Then get gets out and every little new thing freaks her out so much she almost faints all the time. It was pissing me off to no end. I get it's all new but not to the point of almost fainting all the time either, and she also always needs help from someone, it's like she can't do anything herself. Needy, like Kris said. She does get it under control pretty quickly and later on she stops freaking out as much (and stops being as needy), and she does end up kicking ass by the end by herself. She still needs a lot of growing to do, but I'll definitely be there to watch her do it!
Profile Image for Freckles.
464 reviews177 followers
July 7, 2013
rikam si: dneska pujdu brzo (rozumej opravdu dneska, cili pred pulnoci) spat, a odkladan to ve dvou tretinach - ''dokud to jeste jde''.
houby. o pul hodiny pozdeji jsem rozsvitila a docetla to. tak ted uz snad usnu.
kdyz v noci se cte nejlip... :-D
Profile Image for Sandy S.
6,448 reviews160 followers
April 6, 2012
SKYLARK (YA) by Meagan Spooner

SKYLARK is the anticipated August 2012 new release from author Meagan Spooner. SKYLARK is a Young Adult novel written in both the utopian and dystopian genre of literature. Exploring both the political and social structures of a post apocalyptic nightmare, SKYLARK- divided into three sections-follows 16 year old Lark Ainsley and her endeavor to discover who and what she (is). The world as she has been taught, is not the world she will come to know. There is a lot of background information, by way of explanation, that must be revealed to understand the premise of the story.

Once again it is ‘Harvest’ time at the Institute. A graduation or rite of passage, Harvest time will determine each student’s capabilities and powers. But the Resource, the source of all power and magic at the Institute and within the Wall, needs to be replenished. And the source of that ‘Renewable’ energy is no longer available. Living in a domed city, run by the Machines, protected from the poisonous aftermath of the Wars fought so long ago, the people of the City are regimented and classified based on their abilities and power. Each person has the ability to use ‘magic’ or power, but to use one’s power requires permission and discipline. But Lark wants to be a historian. She wants to know what happened all those years ago. And why has her younger brother Basil gone missing for so many years?

The City and Institute thrive using the Resource and its’ powers. Artificial food sources, energy, oxygen, plant life and even the sun were all created by the Architects, who designed the Dome, following the Wars that devastated the world. A renewable source of energy (or magic) must be found before the Resource is no longer able to keep the citizens alive. And the source of the power is something only the people at the Institute are aware (of). But the perfect Utopian world comes with a price. Pixies (mechanimal spies) report the whereabouts and activities of every citizen of the City. Disobedience and disrespect are met with ‘Adjustments’ and banishment to the other side of the Wall where the aftermath of the Wars is still visible all around. Fear has been bred into the people of the City that cannibals and demons live on the other side of the Wall. But like all myths or lore, there is some truth to every story.

Lark is suddenly thrown into a world she never knew existed. The Harvest has discovered a power within Lark that must be contained by the Resource. As a ‘Renewable’, Lark finds herself trapped and forced into a series of medical experiments that leave her exhausted and in pain. But it is the ‘Resource’ that calls to Lark and imprints a series of directives and knowledge that will aid the young woman with her future plans. With the help of a young Architect-Kris-Lark escapes the confines of the Institute only to realize that her family can no longer be trusted. Fleeing the City, Lark finds herself on the other side of the Wall, embarking on an adventure of life, death, renewal, friendship, betrayal and power.

Part 2 follows Lark as she tries to understand the missives of the Resource and the unknowns of the world she knows nothing about. The destruction of the cities and towns surrounding the City remind Lark of the history books from the Institute. With Lark’s powers, she is able to see the spirits of the people who once inhabited the homes before the Wars annihilated the people. But Lark senses that someone is watching. Not a ghost, but a living being. When hunger and cold are all that is left to comfort a weakened Lark, the ‘shadow’ that has been following her, will rescue her time and again, from the savages and cannibals trying to end her existence. Oren is a young man who slowly gains Lark’s trust by aiding her on her journey to the Iron Forest. But Oren has a few secrets of his own and many of those secrets, are buried so deep, that even Oren does not know who or what he is. Passing through the ‘Pockets’ of concentrated magic, Lark and Oren enter into various worlds of growth, renewal and destruction, but Oren’s journey will end at the Iron Forest. In addition to Oren, Lark finds herself a companion in a modified Pixie. Nix, as it will soon be named, quickly develops a sense of self and is torn between duty and a developing friendship of trust and need.

Part 3 and Lark discovers the other ‘Renewables’ like herself. But Dorian the leader of the Others, knows that Lark is different. There is a power within the young woman that has yet to be challenged. Living with the Others, Lark is befriended by Tansy, a young woman who is a scout for her people and gathers power from the rain. But it is the appearance of two people from her recent past that will quickly escalate the struggle for survival in the village she has now learned to call home.
Betrayal by a friend will set in motion the destruction of both man and machine as it unleashes the power within Lark. But at the end of the day, Lark knows that she must follow her heart, already broken and torn, in search of her brother and the others like herself.

SKYLARK is a wonderful first novel in Meagan Spooner’s new Skykark series. There is a lot of detailed background information revealed in the storyline, but information that must be revealed for the sake of understanding the premise. Our heroine Lark is not a kick-ass warrior with an axe to grind, but a young female trying to discover who and what she is. As she searches for answers, she is consumed with the knowledge that everything she has been taught is perhaps a lie or close enough. Betrayal cuts a hole deep in her heart and the knowledge that not everyone is what they seem, will dig the hole even deeper. And friendships are not easily forged in a world known for deception, but one or two ‘people’ may be the only beings that Lark is able to trust. I look forward to the next instalment in Meagan Spooner’s new series. I have no problem recommending this book to both adults and teens. It is an interesting concept based on a world of lies, betrayal and the use of power—both literally and figuratively.

supplied by Netgalley.

see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe.com
Profile Image for Emily.
95 reviews
November 22, 2017
I wanted to wait a little to write this review so I could get my bearings right on this one. This is my first 3 star review in awhile and I’m kinda in the middle with it.
This series is about a girl named Lark, who seems to live in a future dystopian type of world where they have powers, or magic or whatever, and at a certain time in their life, everyone is harvested to have the magic taken away and put in their jobs they’ll work. I’m super confused from the beginning because nothing really told you how everyone seemed to get this magic and why the government wanted to take it. The only thing I could come up with was that so the government could use the magic to power their wall. Okay...fair enough
So one day, lark sneaks into her school to look at that years harvest list, and she isn’t on it. But surprise surprise when she’s approached by her brother just a few hours later and she is on the list, and the only one on the list. You learn later that the government did something to her to make her magic unique but why now all of a sudden. They didn’t really do anything all this time and now they want to call on her?? It doesn’t make any sense.
So after spending some time being tortured, lark escapes and goes out beyond the wall and meets this boy who saves her life. She has a mission to go to the iron wood (where another prisoner told her to go) and this boy takes her there only to find out after a little that the government was using her to find this place and she escapes again.
Really, this was the entire book. Of course there was some other things but it was really just filler stuff.
The premise of this book is really good aside from the confusion I have about this book. I’m going to finish the series only because I need to see if I can get some answers to some of my questions and see if this starts making any sense lol.
Like I said, the premise is really good and has potential but I’m just feeling meh about it all. Plus my OCD won’t let me not finish the series because it’d drive me crazy lol. I hope book 2 really soars and is stellar and will make me want to change my mind.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tracy.
70 reviews3 followers
April 19, 2012
Skylark by Megan Spooner is a story of one girl's courageous journey to save herself and those she loves. Her determination not to believe the sweetness covering the lies and deceit or that Monsters can't be cured is part of what makes this character a great heroine.

An incredibly visual story, stunning in it's distrubing yet hopeful version of the future. A world both breathtakingly beautiful and terrifyingly horrific at the same time. A world where trusting yourself may be the most important thing you ever do.

Ainsley Lark is 15 years old and still waiting to be harvested. Unlike most kids her age in The City she has not yet been choosen for harvesting.

Finally it's her turn, finally she will be like everyone else. Once her magic is gone she will be given a job and fit in. No one really talks about the Harvesting except for the wonderful feast she can expect but she is sure all will be fine.

But things go wrong. Lark's curiousity gets the better of her which leads her to discover things that she shouldn't about how the city is run, the institute and just exactly what the purpose of harvesting is. Her quest to right some wrong's, find her brother and the truth about herself leads her through the wilderness fighting for her life and learning about the world around her.

She first meets Oren a wild boy who helps keep her safe from the Monsters, gives her food and shelter and takes her to The Iron Wood she believes willl hold the answers to her questions. While she is happy to no longer be alone she doesn't completely trust him and the wildness she sees in his eyes.

In the The Ironwood she meets Tansy, Dorion and the rest of the people in the wood all of whom make her feel welcome and as though she belongs. They teach her their ways and more about her magic.

But the Institute hasn't given up on Lark. What happens when they come looking for Tansy is something you'll have to discover on your own but I have to say that it is well worth the journey.

Skylark is dystopian fiction destined to be on the shelves of all who love Hunger Games, Divergent, Knife of Never Letting Go and so on.
Profile Image for Kim.
3 reviews4 followers
August 28, 2016
Skylark starts out with a familiar dystopian setup: heroine Lark is disillusioned of her society's means of serving the common good and sets out on a journey to escape and take down her government. As the heroine leaves her home, the story itself leaves a lot of the dystopian elements behind and becomes more a quiet, survival story with elements of fantasy world-building sprinkled throughout.

A bulk of Skylark takes place in the wild, a stark contrast from the magic and machine-powered environment Lark grew up in. There, she encounters for the first time much that we would take for granted: fruit and vegetables growing from the ground, animals she had previously believed extinct, and even the sky itself is a new experience. Her reactions to each discovery range from wonder to uncomprehending terror. These moments are some of the book's strongest in how they portray Lark's disorientation in a realistic, human way.

The journey through the forest also leaves clues to a world beyond the scope of this first book in the series. Lark finds relics from civilizations just before her time, and they illustrate the different forms that magic can take in this world. The variations within the magic system are cool, and though the stories behind the ruins are never fully realized, they are enough to intrigue and entice readers to learn more in future installments.

Lark's solitude eventually ends as she gains a few companions in the buildup to the third act. From thereon out, the plot moves quickly towards the climax with raised stakes and one or two twists thrown in. The conclusion is satisfying for now, and revelations here also set the stage nicely for the next book.

Skylark won't be for everyone, especially those who require a lot of dialogue or came looking for dystopia-heavy story. It's a great girl-on-the-lam story, though, and highly recommended for young adult fantasy veterans looking for something different.
Profile Image for Marsha.
2,970 reviews52 followers
April 6, 2012
When I first read the summary for "Skylark" I thought, "Wow, what an original concept." However, no matter how unique the storyline, the writing just did not deliver.

Lark Ainsley has been passed over for harvesting her resource year after year. You see, in this dystopian society, the magical powers of children are tapped to power the city. Finally, when her time comes, Lark finds out that what will happen to her is not what she was taught. It is all a big lie and her life is very much on the line. Sounds good, right? Well, unfortunately, it was just okay.

First and foremost, sometimes authors attempt to write a book with a creative flourish that is poetic. Often it works and often it does not. In this case, it just did not work for me. I read and reread various parts of the book for a clearer meaning and in the end, I was left frustrated more times than not. Also, while the concept was great, too much of the story was without dialogue. Much of it chronicled what Lark was thinking as well as her mental state. It all felt very antiseptic and clinical. I need more interaction among characters that includes dialogue, action and suspense. This book had a little in the beginning and more towards the end.

At times, I liked the book; but, not enough to give it higher than two or 2.5 stars. It is a shame because it could have been really great if the author just made the changes I listed earlier. There are too many great YA novels out there right now to read mediocrity. Therefore, I will not be continuing on with the trilogy. Sorry Ms. Spooner, I really wanted to love it.
Profile Image for Amie Kaufman.
Author 33 books12.6k followers
August 5, 2012
This beautiful, unique story is pure magic. The prose draws you in and weaves an incredible world, but the book doesn't dwell too long in description. Skylark draws you along and never lets you rest. Often dark, sometimes shocking, stunning the whole way through, this book will stay with you.

Lark is a fantastic protagonist -- she doesn't charge out of the gate ready to kick ass and take names. Instead, she's determined, but has almost none of the skills she needs to survive in the world she's entered. While sometimes a helpless heroine can drive you mad, in this case Lark's far more annoyed than we could ever be about her lack of survival skills, and fights to improve and save herself. She learns as much about herself as she does about the world around her -- she's been told lies about both.

The world is rich, and Lark's journey as she comes into her own is like nothing I've ever read. The supporting characters are wonderful, each of them fully developed -- I can't WAIT to see more of some of them in the sequel, as I'm sure I will.

As for the ending... well, there's not much I can say, but I've rarely, if ever, been caught out by a twist like I was this time! I'd say 'be prepared', but I guarantee you won't be!
1 review1 follower
April 4, 2012
From its very first image of an eerie mechanical sunrise, SKYLARK draws the reader into a gritty fantasy world where nothing is as it seems. Lark is a protagonist who is easy to relate to; all she has wanted is to become a normal adult in her weird, captivating clockwork-magic city. As the story and the world further unfold around her, Lark reacts and grows believably, dragging the reader into a tale of intrigue, danger, and discovery. It is a pleasure to follow her as she slowly comes to realize the harsh truths of her magical world, especially because she learns as much about herself and her own abilities as she does about the beauty and the dangers of her surroundings.

The story kept me guessing and guessing at what was going to happen, and yet I was consistently surprised by its twists and turns. I certainly didn't want to stop reading until I discovered the truth behind Lark's rich journey. And even though I read dystopian fantasy wherever I can find it, the SKYLARK universe was new and unique to me, and thrilling because of its detail and potential. I can't wait for the sequel!
3 reviews
March 23, 2012
I LOVED Skylark!!! and here's why...

From the beginning it felt like the sort of book that I would love to curl up on a couch with under a blanket, you know that feeling when a book feels like an old friend? Partly due to the lovely descriptive style of writing and partly due to the beginning reminding me of Obernewtyn (which I read many years ago and loved). Though there were times when Skylark soon made me feel a bit squeamish inside!

When I thought I had Skylark pegged - "I know what's going to happen!!" - it turned out I was wrong, not once, not twice, but literally EVERY TIME I thought I knew what was about to unfold I was off the mark! Despite not being able to sit down towards the end (back pain) I couldn't stop reading and was compelled to finish reading Skylark standing.

I can't wait for the next book to be finished!!! And once you've read Skylark you'll be desperate to know what happens next too! You will not be disappointed!!!

Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,343 followers
August 3, 2013
tak nějak nevím, jak správně knihu ohodnotit, ale kdybych měla být fakt objektivní, tak by to bylo nějakých 3,6*. Slabší 4*.
že začátku jsem dost tapala v jakém světě to hrdinka žije. pak mě odrovnavaly nekonečné popisy. autorka se zřejmě inspirovala u Huga... :D . kniha se dala přirovnat ke spoustá m jiným dystopiim. ale v určitém směru byla fakticky originalni. celá linie s Orenem byla zajímavá a její vyústění naprosto šokující. když jsem to četla, tak jsem prostě valila oči. ale tak jako tak Team Kris. doufám, že se tam bude vyskytovat mnohem víc, protože pomůže ještě být zajímavá zápletka.
Netvor, který mi přinesl květiny. str 202. jak symbolické, docela by to byl i chytlavý název.
Profile Image for K..
3,673 reviews1,006 followers
August 30, 2017
Trigger warnings: violence, loss of a sibling, torture.

3.5 stars.

I was reeeeeeally interested to read this one, because I've only read the books that Meagan Spooner has cowritten with Amie Kaufman and I was intrigued to see how her solo writing compared.

As a concept? This was pretty stinking cool. It's basically a blend of dystopian and fantasy. A world where people have magic, but where the government harvests that magic from you in order to maintain society's reliance on mod cons. A world where outside the walled city that Lark's always known are woods filled with cannibalistic orc-like monsters. And now Lark has found herself outside that wall.

So it was a pretty fabulous concept. However. It took a long time to get going and there wasn't quiiiiite as much worldbuilding as I would have liked. My other gripe - which is, honestly, a me thing and not a book thing - is that I like first books in a series to have a definitive ending and to effectively be able to stand on their own. This one...couldn't. Not really.

So yeah. It was enjoyable. But I did find myself wanting slightly MORE than what I got.
Profile Image for Anne Osterlund.
Author 5 books5,517 followers
August 15, 2017
Lark is different. She is called late, to the institute. Then has her magic harvested only to have it return and have it harvested again. And again. By the time Lark realizes her gift is truly a curse, she is a prisoner. Her only hope is to escape the city wall and brave the world into which her brother disappeared. A world where magic is trapped in pockets of nightmare, people are warped into monsters, and survival may require . . . more than Lark is prepared to accept.

Skylark is YA dystopian sci fi/fantasy. I won’t lie. This book was a challenge. The heroine spends quite some time tramping through a forest all alone. But I would urge you to stick with her. The payoff is full of unexpected reveals and an intriguing relationship with a heck of an obstacle. I will be reading the rest of the trilogy.
Profile Image for Syki.
977 reviews216 followers
March 29, 2016
Lindě je patnáct let a ví, že je divná. Proč by si ji jinak už dávno neodvedli na kouzlobraní? Vždyť i mladší děti už u něj dávno byli a vědí, jakou pozici budou ve společnosti zastávat. Jen Linda pořád nic.

Už pomalu začíná ztrácet naději, že by na ni opravdu došla řada, měsíc co měsíc se snaží vloupat do školy a přečíst si seznam dětí, které mají být odvedeny. Jenže ani teď to nevypadá, že by se na ni konečně usmálo štěstí. Její jméno na seznamu není.

Proč pro ni ale další den nechají poslat z Ústavu drožku, aby ji odvedla na kouzlobraní? A proč jí na tom připadá něco divného? opravdu má kouzlobraní vypadat takhle? A proč si po něm nedokáže pomalu nic vybavit? To, co však Linda objeví v uzavřených zdech Ústavu jí naprosto změní život…

Znáte tu chvíli, kdy si koupíte knihu, která vás zaujala, s tím, že si ji přečtete později… a pak se k ní dostanete až po několika letech, kdy jsou venku vlastně i další díly a série je celá ukončená… a vy jste ještě pořád tu knihu nečetli? Ne? Tak to zase budu jenom já.

Za tu dobu jsem jaksi zapomněla, o čem vlastně celá série je, možná i proto, že se o ní zase na domácích knižních blozích tolik nepsalo, nebo nebyla takovým hitem. Je to docela škoda, protože když pominu nekonečné popisy okolí… je to vážně hodně dobrý kousek, který by vám neměl uniknout. Já si říkám, že je škoda, že mi unikal tak dlouho.

Linda je docela sympatická hrdinka a všechno její zmatení dodává jen na důrazu jejímu postupnému přerodu v člověka, co se bije za ty, které má ráda a na kterých jí záleží. Oren je velkou neznámou, přesto je jejich vzájemný vztah hezky kouzelný i nebezpečný. Něco hodně podobného jako Aria a Perry, to je nejspíš i důvodu, proč jsem si čtení tak užívala, jelikož série Nebe patří mezi mé vůbec nejoblíbenější.

Musím se ovšem pozastavit nad předkladem knihy. V případě klasických dystopických young adult knih jsem se už smířila, že jsou některá jména postav přeložená. V mnohých případech to ničemu nevadí, v jiných je to na palici – jako třeba Hurikán v Hunger Games. V Ptačním zpěvu se v originále hlavní hrdinka jmenuje Lark, což je v překladu skřivan, i z toho důvodu se nejspíš kniha v originále jmenuje Skylark, tedy v překladu skřivan… dejme tomu, že i nebeský skřivan. Pravda, v češtině by to znělo hodně divně a nikoho by to asi k četbě nenalákalo. Na jednu stranu se mi líbí, že tedy z Lark v češtině udělali Lindu a občasně jí ta také říkají linduško, což je malý zpěvný pták, takže se význam přenesl i do překladu, na stranu druhou… kdybych si to nevygooglila, vůbec by mě to nenapadlo, stejně jako by mi nedošla spojitost názvu knihy s jejím pojetím a obsahem. Je to docela škoda, mohlo by to být někdy v dovětku nebo v poznámce pod čarou nějak vysvětleno, myslím, že by se to čtenářům mohlo i líbit.

Celkově se mi ovšem kniha velice líbila. Občas to sice pokulhávalo a toho popisu prostředí mi někdy přišlo až přehršel, ale i tak vše plynulo, jak má. První díl je vlastně pouhým začátkem cesty, takže jsem hodně zvědavá, co mě bude čekat dál, jen je škoda, že jsme se v češtině zatím dočkali jen druhého dílu a třetí nikde. Už je to od jeho vydání v originále to už budou dva roky. Přitom první díl je super kombinace dystopie, magie a steampunku a věřte mi… to si chcete přečíst.

--------------Reakce po dočtení knihy--------------
Hodně dobrý kousek, jen tomu něco málo chybělo. Hodně mi to připomínalo Pod nekonečnou oblohou, možná proto mi to tolik sedlo...
22 reviews
July 29, 2012
Personally could not finish this book. I really wanted to like Skylark, but it was too hard.

We spend the first 25% of the book with Lark inside the Wall as she's being harvested and eventually escapes. It's not quite a spoiler, since it's obvious in these stories the MC gets out and explores the big bad world beyond the Wall.

But Gosh, this world was hard to believe and stomach. The prose was strange and bumbling, which I couldn't quite swallow.

You have a weird mish-mash of an enclosed city that runs on Resource, that's really just magic. They also have technology like Pixies that are useful monitoring tools. The world she lives in post-apocalyptic and I'm still frustrated to why the MC is harvested at such an old age when others are harvested much younger. The world is strange and hard to get a grip on. The design of the world does not make sense. What is the author trying to achieve? In HG, it makes you question the ruthless and unfair government, Delirium, how everyone thinks love is a disease. A good Dystopian makes you think and raises questions about society. So I don't think this qualifies as a Dystopian but some strange post-apocalyptic Fantasy.

I also couldn't tolerate how silly our MC is. The first thing she does when she escapes is run home. Which person with half a brain does that? Wouldn't that be the first place a person looks? And quite early on we are introduced that her oldest brother is unreliable and she stupidly trusts him and tells him everything only to be backstabbed. And then she acts surprised? Was all that really necessary? Couldn't we just skip to the point where she rushes out to escape after the torture she endures? Is it wrong to have a character who's actually sensible?

I couldn't get myself to like the MC. Normally in Dystopian you want a strong character, or at least somewhat determined and smart. Lark does not quite get out relying on her own skills but the help of others. She was honestly quite pathetic.

And there was also an annoying villain called the Administrator who was clearly crazy and calls our MC all these annoying bird names like duckling, gosling, chick etc. You can tell she's cuckoo with how she tries and convinces the MC to come home and how all will be forgiven and they'll give her whatever profession she wants. It takes Lark too long to smash the silly Pixie, which the Administrator communicates through later on, personally I would've said something along the lines of 'eat s*#! and die'. Let alone engage in conversation in the first place. Overall, it was a befuddling portrayal of a villain that did not work for me. Was she supposed to be intimidating and taken seriously?

It was a very frustrating novel and slow going. After our MC leaves the wall it's just her out in the wilderness. No human interaction. It was incredibly boring and I wanted to pull my teeth out and wondered when the hell we'll get to the action.

I really wanted to like this book, but it just wasn't for me.
Profile Image for Jasmine Rose.
654 reviews57 followers
August 1, 2013
I've read a lot of just good and pretty meh books lately and let me tell you, Skylark was a breath of fresh air. This is the book I've been waiting for and silly me didn't pick it up until now.

Man, I just don't even know where to start because Skylark is just this explosion of awesomeness packed in between two covers. There's just enough action and suspense to keep me glued to the pages without being overwhelming. The little (and big) mysteries of the world and the story are subtly weaved in so it doesn't feel like the reader is constantly being bombarded with THIS IS A MYSTERY AND IT'S A MYSTERY SO I WON'T TELL YOU WHAT IT IS YET.
And oh my gosh, the twists. Yeah, I didn't see any of them coming. Well, there might be one, but I don't really think Spooner was hiding it from the reader, only Lark. It was so nice to actually not know what was going to happen which has been the case with most of my reads lately.

I'm not going to lie, it was kind of a lot to take in at first, but I got into the groove of the world after a bit and loved it. It's absolutely nothing like anything I've read before. I love the idea of magic being some kind of natural resource. And, as with any limited supply of anything, the government has complete control over it. So the magic isn't for personal use, instead, the city uses it to power itself. And we're talking everything from their artificial sun to little “pixies” which fly on their own and serve kind of as a police alarm (can that be a thing). I don't really want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that I found the pockets of magic fascinating (read it and you'll know what I mean ;])

And boy, does Spooner have a way with characters. I fell in love with all of them. Well, besides a certain guy (no, I didn't even like him from the moment he was introduced) and the rest of the evil city people.
Lark was stubborn and scared and realistic. She had some serious trust issues so I wanted to shake her and be like “just trust them!” but I can't exactly fault her for it. I wouldn't trust anything or anyone after what she'd been through either.
Ohmygosh, Nix. I liked it (always thought of it as a her for some reason) from the moment it entered the story. I can't really say much about it since 1) it's kind of confusing and 2) it's a little spoilery.
Oh, Oren. Despite all the reasons he wasn't to be trusted I just kept thinking “Lark and Oren 4evah.” He's such a complex and wonderful character. Talk about a tortured soul (not in the usual way, though. Ponder that one!)

The Nutshell: Basically, I could go on and on about Skylark so you should just trust me on this one and go read it. I mean it has magic, complex characters, twists you'll never see coming (unless you're the master of figuring things out), and a world that you've probably never seen the likes of before.

Direct Hit
Profile Image for Melissa Simmons.
Author 34 books104 followers
November 18, 2012
Skylark, Meagan Spooner's debut novel is a chilling dystopian story set in a war ravaged world where magic is a very important commodity to possess. 16-year-old Lark is considered an anomaly in her society; not yet harvested and made useful. She keeps to herself and ignores the taunts as children years younger than her are brought to the Institute where their Resource is taken to help keep their city running.

The story is told from the point of view of our main character, Lark. Her narrative is exquisitely detailed and helps bring the story to life for you. You can see the magic 'pockets' and the shadow people as she flees the only home she's ever known. Terrifying, heartbreaking and sometimes hopeful, this story is utterly original and rife with conflict. The plot speeds on at a breakneck pace and there is literally peril lurking around every corner Lark turns.

Lark is a very dynamic character and I loved watching her grow as the story progressed. You see her turn from a lonely, quiet girl afraid of the world she is a part of to a strong, independent and loyal person who's willing to fight for those she loves. One of the things I admire most about Lark is her compassion. Despite the horrors she has endured, she still believes that killing living creatures is wrong, even those who would kill her. She is noble where others would be bitter and bent on revenge.

Skylark is one of those books you just HAVE to keep reading, but at the same time, you NEVER want it to be over. This was a really fast, refreshing read; I never saw the twists coming and the end really leaves you wanting more. I can't wait for the next installment!
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,163 followers
May 10, 2017
Part dystopian, part magic/fantasy, but very familiar storyline. The story of a dystopian society that is harvesting magic from children at a certain age in order to run their domed city. Magic is their source of electricity and everyone has some in them. The world outside the dome is a scary, dark, and ruined place (don't they all say that?), so they are stuck with the oppressive rulers of their dome-ship.
Lark is a late-bloomer, her brother has disappeared (again, very familiar), and she is finally about to be harvested for her magic as the book begins. But, things don't go as planned and she is a prisoner! A boy helps her escape and she is out in the big bad world where she meets another boy. She's afraid of the sky.
I will say that this book reads pretty slow. If you don't mind a lot of reading the narrator in her own head, then it's for you. She is alone for a good part of the book and there is not a lot of dialogue. The "wild boy" she meets, Oren, is not a big talker, either. But, I did like how the author was able to really show us this world. She took us out of the dome and showed us other parts of the world and another society. It was interesting. Kinda. I also liked the part about Oren that you know what I mean if you read it. wink wink. That makes him more interesting.
Profile Image for Tereza Eliášová.
Author 23 books142 followers
March 7, 2013
Ptačí zpěv je nejpodivnější dystopie, co jsem kdy četla. Dumám, jestli to vůbec dystopie je. Ano, odehrává se ve světě poničeném válkami, s uzavřenými městy a se spoustou nenávisti. Mnohem víc je to ale příběh o kouzelném světě, kde funguje magie trochu jako elektřina. Příběh o světě, kde existuje spousta zajímavých udělátek , jako jsou bzučilky, kráčedla nebo zpívající papíroví ptáčci. Příběh někde mezi Akumulátorem(prostě nemůžu ten příměr nepoužít :)) a Pullmanovým Zlatým kompasem (který autorka ostatně zmiňuje i v poděkování) s přídechem Krásky a zvířete…

Megan Spoonerová se vyžívá v popisech. Což mě chvílemi trochu rozčilovalo a nudilo. Ale je znát, že to má všechno promyšleno do sebemenšího detailu (a přece to občas skřípe, není to jen tak stvořit svět podle svých pravidel a pak je dodržovat). Tenhle první díl beru trochu jako úvod, rozmáchlé nadechnutí se k tomu, co se bude dít dál. Na posledních pár stránkách se toho totiž semlelo docela dost…
8 reviews
April 23, 2012
Just finished reading Skylark and it was incedibly satisfying and left me wanting more. There were definitely a number of plot twists that I wasn't expecting and while some left me happy, some also left me feeling quite sad! The descriptions of each of the worlds the Lark discovers are colourful and vibrant and sometimes terribly frightening. It was a beautiful read. It will definitely be a long wait for the 2nd book!
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