ARC Review: Lark Ascending by Meagan Spooner

ARC Review: Lark Ascending by Meagan Spooner
ARC Review: Lark Ascending by Meagan Spooner

Lark Ascending

Written by Meagan Spooner
(Carolrhoda Lab - 10/10/2014)
Series: Skylark #3
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
Format: eARC (328 pages)
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3 Stars

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Lark thought returning home to face her city was the hardest thing she'd ever do. She was wrong.

No longer the girl who ran for her life, Lark's ready for the Institute. She never dreamed she'd find a rebellion, a Renewable, and those she used to love embroiled in the fight of their lives. She's mastered her magic, but she still doesn't know if she can master the darkness stirring inside her.

Nothing is simple anymore, and finding her place in this war—and discovering the terrible secrets behind her ruined world—might cost her everything she has left.
FTC Disclosure: This book was provided to me from the author or publisher (NetGalley), free of charge, with the understanding that my intention is to read it and provide feedback in the form of an honest review. I am not compensated in any way in exchange for positive reviews, and I don’t let anything other than the book's contents affect my opinions and review.

My Thoughts

After a really strong start with Skylark and a pretty great follow-up in Shadowlark, I thought I knew what to expect with the conclusion to Spooner’s imaginative debut series. I was pretty thrilled when my request for Lark Ascending was granted on NetGalley, but as I finally got to sit down and start reading this book, I found my enthusiasm waning.

I’m not really sure what I was expecting from the final book in this trilogy, aside from the obvious goal that Lark had been heading toward from the very beginning. But I guess I was just hoping for more. The first half was extremely slow-paced (the first two books weren’t all that quick-paced either), and it felt like not much was really even happening. By the time I was 50% through and things were just starting to pick up, I was a little shocked.

This basically read like a pretty predictable rebel uprising, striking back at the corrupt government. I wanted a lot more of the imagination and wonder — the things that really made me fall in love with this series originally. I wanted more exploration of the relationships here, between Lark and her brothers, between Lark and Eve. I would have loved to see more development for Oren and Kris, and Caesar and Basil. It seemed like the only relationships that got attention time at all were Lark/Oren and Lark/Nix.

I don’t know why, but I just felt so disconnected from this whole book. It felt like somehow I was just skimming the surface of the story, watching it unfold through murky water, instead of actually getting to experience it with Lark and the others. I hope I’m alone in this feeling, though, because even so, this series has a special place in my heart (especially Nix). As a series conclusion, it just didn’t feel like enough for me, and I found myself wishing for at least a companion novella (or two) to round it all out.

Read 6 comments

  1. Ugh, I hate it when this happens. So far I’ve been lucky enough to have read only one or two series with a less than spectacular ending, but still, I know how frustrating it feels like.

    The first half was extremely slow-paced” — Oh man, you know how I feel about slow-moving books. I just can’t stand them! (I really need to work on the patience factor :P), so I can definitely understand where you’re coming from. I don’t really need stories to be action-packed all the time, but I don’t want them to be boring and give off the feel like “nothing much is happening,” which is what you felt here as well.

    Eh, dystopian books need to step up on their game. Ever since THG came out and became hugely successful, basically every other dystopia YA book had a similar plot, with similar characters, too. I’m all for originality and standing out, so I think I would have wanted the same things you did if I’d read this. And gosh, the plot progression is important at all, but leaving your characters be is one of the worst things an author can do. Also — is that a love triangle I see?!

    Sorry this series ended on such a disappointing note, Kelley. :( I remember being so excited to read Skylark (it had a really cool-sounding premise), but after seeing that the final book isn’t as great as can be, I don’t know if I want to give the series a go now… All the same, thanks for such an informative review! Hoping your next read is much better. <3

    • Yeah, it sucks because this series held so much promise. It’s really different from so many other books out there, and I loved the way she blended so many genres together. Maybe I was just too impatient to get to the action in this book? I don’t know!

      As for the love triangle — I’d say no, there really isn’t one. Thank goodness! And anyway, it could just be me that was disappointed with this ending. I haven’t looked into anyone else’s reviews yet, so I might be the odd one out!

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