Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3019
Gentle and Surprising
(Updated: August 30, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
As soon as I read that synopsis, I knew I needed to read this book. Immediately. I had Skylark swag taunting me for a week before my copy of the book finally came in the mail and I was able to read it. I came to this book not knowing much about the story, and while I did made connections to other books while reading it, it is like nothing else I’ve read. Skylark surprised me in so many ways, and I actually feel refreshed after reading it. I absolutely loved this book.

Five reasons you should read this book:

1. The world is full of magic, mystery, threats, and wonder.
2. There is a pixie named Nix who is suspicious, helpful, and humorous.
3. Lark is faced with difficult decisions that let me question my own morals and ethics.
4. There is a beautiful, scary love story within.
5. It is beautiful, gentle, and full of humanity.

There is an overwhelming gentleness to Skylark. As I began reading, the words swirled around me, pulling me gently deeper, gently further, and held me close as I followed Lark on her journey. Lark is a survivor and doesn’t even know it. She’s alone in such a vast, scary world and though she is definitely afraid of many things, she pulls herself through each situation with incredible grace and an innocent fortitude. While she is not perfect and makes some mistakes, she also looks at things with a skepticism that I really appreciate. Each character Lark encounters (or thinks about) comes alive in such a real, full way that it’s almost as if they sneak up on you. I love a book that finds its way into my heart so easily, and without force.

The world Lark lives in is so curious and magical. The City uses mechanical clockwork in combination with bits of The Resource (magic) to power everything; it is harvested, contained, and closely controlled. Out beyond the magical barrier that separates the City from the rest of the world, magic is scarce. It is unpredictable and scary and wondrous – when one happens upon it. I really enjoyed the mystery of the outside world and the magic – and its stark contrast to the City in which Lark was born. My heart was pulled along in her struggles with nature and her joyous relief upon finding pockets of goodness in a dangerous landscape, and as the journey continued I felt myself growing closer to her with each step.

I heaved a deep, long sigh after finishing this book. I wanted to stay cradled in its pages, following Lark and Nix ever further. The synopsis drew me in, the cover filled me with longing, and the writing enchanted me far more than I expected. Above anything, I can tell that Meagan Spooner wrote Skylark with care, and with love, and with a gentleness that permeates every page.
Good Points
Each character evokes emotion, interesting blend of steampunk and magic
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