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Skylark (The Skylark Trilogy) Hardcover – August 1, 2012

53 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Skylark Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-In this mildly interesting first book in a dystopian steampunk series, Lark intends to follow tradition and have her Resource (magic) harvested at the Institute when she's 16 and officially becomes an adult. Instead, she's held captive-to be forever linked with glass wires protruding from her veins to a machine to supply the city's power. Her Resource is different. She has the rare ability to renew it. Kris, a sympathetic Institute staff member, helps Lark escape. She crosses the Wall that surrounds their domed city to try to reach others like her living in the Iron Wood-a perilous journey through a wilderness filled with human cannibals. She's also being tracked by a tiny mechanical pixie. With the aid of a mysterious boy named Oren, she succeeds in finding the Iron Wood and is taken in, even though the people sense her magic's not like theirs. Kris shows up claiming that he had to escape because they found out he helped her. Then Lark discovers everything she's been told is a lie. She's not a Renewable and Oren's not who she thought he was. There is little explanation about how this dystopian world came about. The book focuses exclusively on Lark, and the rest of the characters are seriously underdeveloped. Lark's not even that interesting. Fortunately, Oren is. Readers who stick with the story may be rewarded with more fleshed-out characterizations in the next book, but it's doubtful that most teens will have that much patience.-Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trentonα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This heavily anticipated dystopian debut mostly lives up to its hype. Lark Ainsley is 16, older than most kids when their Resource gets harvested. All she wants is to quietly contribute to the City’s daily operation. But Lark finds out she is a Renewable, a hugely unfortunate creature who has the rare ability to power the City as it struggles to protect its citizens from the outside world long devastated by the ancient Wars. Held against her will and tortured in ways described with relentless, excruciating detail, Lark finally manages to escape. As she travels the blighted landscape of the world outside her domed City, she encounters terrors as seemingly benign as the sky (which she has never before seen) to those as treacherous as trees with razor teeth. Magic and technology blend seamlessly here, although the emphasis on exposition rather than dialogue sometimes bogs down the pages. The current demand for grim YA renditions of a dystopian future, plus the splashy landing, will likely ensure a significant readership for fans of the genre. Grades 9-12. --Julie Trevelyan

Product Details

  • Series: Skylark Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (August 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761388656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761388654
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Meagan Spooner is the New York Times bestselling author of the Skylark trilogy and the Starbound trilogy.

She 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.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Step Into Fiction on August 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Skylark didn't disappoint. There was so much detail in the post-apocalyptic world that I literally felt like I was right there with Lark living her adventure alongside her, rather than reading her journey. That is what every reader wants to feel; to truly feel like they're apart of this story, experiencing it (though, completely safe unlike the heroine). I haven't felt this way in such a long time that it's truly refreshing.

Her characters were amazing and not like every other character I read in YA books. Lark Ainsley, our heroine, was pretty much the city's reject and one of the oldest children who haven't been harvested for the adult, working world. Most children in this world get harvested by the age of 12, where they're spread throughout the city, assigned different jobs that help keep the city and its limited citizens functioning. It's almost as if Lark is the reject of the city and it's got to be quite frustrating and embarrassing to be that old and yet still be considered a child.

Her first love interest is an institute official named Kris (who I absolutely adore) whose handsome, clean cut, just about everything you'd want in a guy and clearly, an institute born child. (Though, clearly no longer a child) Though he's brought up to be this institute prodigy there is just something about him, from the second Lark lays eyes on him, which screams he's different from the rest. The true question you'll be asking yourself is just how different is he from the rest of the `government'.

Once she leaves the city's wall and is on her own in the outside world, she meets this mess of a boy. He's clearly been living out in the woods on his own because everything about him is messy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joy Kimberly on August 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Skylark" by, Meagan Spooner.

Lark Ainsley has grown up in a place where magic is real and it controls everything. This magic is called resource and it's harvested from the citizens to help run the city. The story begins with Lark finding out that it's her turn to be harvested and assigned a career. Lark is very excited and can't wait to start her adult life. The citizens are born with a certain amount of resource and consequently are only harvested once. However there are rumors of renewables, special people who are born with resource that doesn't run out. When Lark realizes that she is a renewable her life becomes a frightening fight for survival.
I want to start by saying that this book gripped me from the first page. Meagan Spooner's storytelling is magical and gritty. I had a few moments where I had to put the book down and just take a breath because the story was so intense. I struggled right along with Lark as she traveled through a world that terrified her at every turn.
While fleeing, Lark meets Oren, a wild boy that is drawn to Lark and reluctantly decides to help her. Oren has been alone for a very long time and Lark makes him feel normal again. He is afraid to need her but he is undeniably drawn to her. Lark learns from Oren and through him she finds a new strength and purpose. The world building in this story is wonderful! "Skylark" is a perfect blend of fantasy and dystopian writing.
I have read and loved many books but not all of them make me want to take a sick day just so I can stay home and read. This book did! It would freak me out to have to live in this world but I can't wait for the next book in this series so I can revisit it from the safety of my bed. Meagan Spooner is amazing and is a great addition to my favorite's shelf.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris on August 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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, holy 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.

Lark is a fantastic heroine. Although her world fell apart, she got stronger as the story progressed. She wanted her freedom more than anything, and fought to get it. She had one line in the book about not wanting to be kept that really defined who she became.

The secondary characters were just as interesting. Nix was easily my favorite. He was a mechanical bug who had a key role in the story. Oren and Kris are introduced as possible love interests, but this was by no means, a love triangle. Each of the boys brought something different to the story, and I guarantee both will surprise you by the end. Dorian and Tansy come into play near the end, but I hope they play larger roles in the rest of the series.

Meagan Spooner created a vivid, and sometimes, really scary future world. She is an exciting new author on the scene, and I hope this book doesn't get lost in the current tidal wave of dystopian fiction. It's really not to be missed. I will be waiting quite impatiently for the next book in the series.

If you like my review, you can find more on my website: [...]
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