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Posted October 14, 2013
I loved Skylark, don't get me wrong. But Shadowlark? I don't think there are enough words in the English language to express my love for this book. It was fascinating, and Skylark piqued my intrigue quite a lot and I just...this book had an aura of magic to it, and I adored it. Miss Spooner's way with words has enchanted me and her characters (Lark especially) were just...ugh, I love her so much, both Lark and Meagan Spooner. Sure the plot left a teensy bit to be desired, but the style of writing and the characters and the setting are more than welcome and make up for that.
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Posted October 21, 2013
Shadowlark is the sequel to Skylark. If you haven't read that yet, I strongly recommend starting with it; this isn't a series you want to jump into the middle of.
Shadowlark reads like Skylark to me. The issues I had with Skylark are issues in Shadowlark, and the things that entranced me in Skylark are here as well. If you liked Skylark, I can't see you disliking this, and if you hated Skylark, don't expect things to get better.
Lark is still a generally uninteresting protagonist. She's not a Mary Sue, but there wasn't much personality there either. In Shadowlark she at least seems to have *opinions* occasionally. I guess that Lark's character only really bothers me when I stop to think about it though; the books read like 2nd-person stories told in the third-person. When I'm actually reading I'm completely fine using Lark's eyes as a window to her world.
Lark's world is the reason to read this book. Spooner has created a vivid, fascinating setting. My favorite element, the shadow people, remain tragic and terrifying. And, as the title 'Shadowlark' implies, this book introduces a moral gray area not present in Skylark, as Lark struggles with her powers.
In short: fantastic.
Posted October 6, 2013
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner
Book Two of the Skylark trilogy
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley's wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She's always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever.
But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.
Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.
Lark never asked to be anyone's savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone's weapon. She might not have a choice.
What I Liked:
I think I liked this book more than I liked the first book, but not by a huge margin or anything. This book had more action in it, and I feel like some things were explained better than they were in the first book. Or maybe I got used to reading about some things, and I felt more comfortable with them and understood them better than when I was reading the first book. Because if you read my review of the first book, you might have noticed: my review was a MESS. I was confused, my review is confusing, because the BOOK was confusing (for me).
Lark has left the Iron Wood, in search of Basil, her brother. She knows he's out there, and she wants to find him so he can help her understand who she is and what is happening to her. The path to Basil is not easy. She and her traveling companions, Tansy (a Renewable from the Iron Wood), and Nix (her pixie from the Institute) run into many problems, and eventually, Lethe.
At Lethe, one thing becomes clear: join the resistance and take down Prometheus, Lethe's leader/dictator/savior. The thing about the resistance is that they all agree that Prometheus has done amazing things for the city, but they don't agree with one thing (of several) that he is doing: holding Renewables against their will, to power the city.
Lark is faced with so many tough situations and issues in this book. In the first book, I thought she was kind of stupid. But in this book, I could definitely see her character development. She begins to stand up for herself, her friends, and her ideas. If she has a plan, she does what she can to follow through the plan.
The weirdness with the romance is cleared up. I'm not saying everything is rainbows and sunshine for Lark and Oren, because Ms. Spooner introduces more characters, and throws them into the supposed romance angle, but you can see from mile away that those characters mean nothing in terms of the primary romance. If you read book one, and you got an idea about the romance, then you can probably see where this one is going. Nothing romantic really happens, because Ms. Spooner is subtle and crafty about the romance. It's kind of nice, actually.
The plot of this book was a tad bit predictable, possibly boring, but I enjoyed it. I could see where it was going, but I thought the execution was okay. The writing style isn't something I *really* like, because Ms. Spooner is heavy on the descriptions and nonsensical driveling paragraphs. Those are the ones I usually glossed over, because there are SO MANY, and I'm like, can I just get to the story? Not EVERYTHING needs to be perfectly described. I have a really hard time visualizing this world, actually. So, all those descriptions have the opposite effect on me.
Anyway, I will be reading book three!
What I Did Not Like:
Many of the problems I had with the first book, I had with the second book. For example, I was confused a lot (though this book cleared up some things), I felt like the plot was extremely slow, I'm kind of ehh about the characters, the plot was a bit predictable, and I was bored at times, and skipped over sentences (and sometimes paragraphs) at a time.
The first book had a lot of descriptive paragraphs and basically, stream of consciousness drivel that was totally not necessary. This book had a lot of that as well. I skimmed those sentences and paragraphs, because most of them time, they weren't necessary to understand the plot or the characters, or any part of the book. I mean, I skimmed over them, and I still understand the basics (and more of everything).
The things that I don't understand or am confused about seem to be the things that are explained too much. For example, Lark's powers. In the first book, they weren't explained well. In this book, we get many examples of Lark using her powers, and I still don't understand them. She sucks magic away from people? Like a succubus or something? And Basil? And Oren? How do the shadow people come about? Why do some people not have any powers (the humans)?
The plot was really predictable. Like, once Lark got to Lethe, I knew what would happen with the resistance, with Olivia, with Oren, with Prometheus, who Prometheus is... it was too formulaic. Maybe I've read too many dystopia novels, but everything was predictable to me.
This made the plot (and therefore, my reading of this book) very slow. I thought I could read this book in a few hours - nope. This one took me a while. I was bored a lot, the descriptions were killing me, and the plot was too slow. I mean, yes, there was a lot more action in this book, but it was kind of boring action. And I totally saw it coming. Predictability was high in this book! And therefore, boredom.
And the ending was a tad bit anticlimactic. I expected a bigger, more plot-moving climax, to set up for the next book, but it was kind of meh. Maybe that's just me though. I'm still going to read the third book - I've come this far!
Would I Recommend It:
If you read and enjoyed the first book, yes! If you read and didn't enjoy the first book, then no. This book is similar to the first book in the aspects I didn't like, so if you didn't like the first book overall, then you should probably steer clear of this one. If you're debating whether or not to pick up the series at all, hold off! It might be worth it, it might not. Right now, I'm thinking no, it's not worth it, but who knows? Maybe the third book will blow me away!
3 stars. I think I liked this book more than I liked the first book, but somehow, they ended up with the same rating from me. I will be on the lookout for the final book of this trilogy though!
Posted October 3, 2013
“Shadowlark” by, Meagan Spooner
(This is the second book in a trilogy so it contains spoilers.)
Lark Ainsley has left the Iron Wood behind her with Tansy and Nix in tow. She is more determined than ever to find her brother Basil and finally figure out what was done to her by the architects. When the trio wanders into a town that has been overrun by shadow people they try to make a run for it. Trapped by the shadows and fearing the worst, Lark and Tansy are unexpectedly saved by shadow Oren. Just when Lark thinks they might be safe, they are taken captive by several armed strangers who take them to an underground city called Lethe. With more questions then answers and dangers around every turn, Lark begins to fear that she will never find her brother or a place where she will be safe.
I absolutely loved this story and I’ll be on pins and needles waiting for the third and final book. Here are just a few of the reasons why I loved “Shadowlark”:
*Oren is one of my favorite characters, and I’m including the other books I’ve read when I say that. I love the fact that he is so connected to Lark that he can see her light even when he is lost in shadow. He tells her that he will follow her anywhere and he does. He keeps her safe even when he doesn’t know who he is and he would give up his life for her. I love how strong and true he is. (“You’re the only thing that keeps me human. But if I woke tomorrow completely cured and whole, I would still follow you anywhere.”) Not an exact quote. It’s so romantic.
* Nix is suppose to be just a machine, but through Lark it becomes much more than that to the reader. It is very much another character that you grow to love. When it’s hurt you hold your breath waiting to see if it’s okay. It’s wonderful to see how Lark and Nix relate to each other and how the other characters react to it. Nix is a very special creation.
* Wesley is a nice addition to this trilogy. He is sort of a father figure and teacher to Lark. She wants to help him and is hurt when she feels she has let him down. He tells Lark…”You did what your instincts told you to do. Survive, at whatever cost. It’s hardwired into us, it doesn’t make us monsters.” Not an exact quote. Wonderful!
*”Magic doesn’t give you a weapon, it gives you a choice.” (Love it)
I felt so many things while reading this book. (Fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, and happiness) I really can’t say enough good things about this trilogy and I think that everyone should read it.