ShadowlarkWritten by Meagan Spooner
(Carolrhoda Lab - 10/1/13)Series: Skylark #2
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult
Format: ARC (327 pages)
Source: Won in Giveaway
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.
Ever since I finished Skylark, I’d been waiting to get a chance to read Shadowlark, because I was so curious about where Lark’s travels would take her next, and how things would play out with some of the other characters. It was easy and comfortable for me to slide back into Lark’s story, and before I knew it, I’d been whisked away on a new adventure, complete with a sidekick, a mysterious destination, scary enemies, and a fussy pixie companion.
What continues to astound me about Meagan Spooner’s writing — especially with this series — is how deliberate every word feels. Each character, each scene, and each puzzle piece are all handled with such delicate care, that her love for this story just radiates out from the pages. Lark is determined, but cautious, leading her to get into some scary situations that force her to work her way out of them. Though the threats feel real and worrisome, I still felt a sense of calm knowing that she would get through them.
You might be thinking, “duh, this happens in just about every book,” but I’m not sure how else to explain it. I think what I’m trying to express is that I utterly trust her with this story and these characters, and that whatever happens, I know it will be true. I guess it’s rare that I feel this way so completely about an author or series.
Okay, but enough about that. This book was full of surprises, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some interesting new techniques, revelations, and people. While some of it was a bit predictable, other parts caught me by surprise. I love the way that Spooner has combined elements from so many different genres into this series: steampunk, fantasy/magic, science fiction (some REALLY cool things show up in this regard), a bit of dystopia, and so on.
Final verdict: Shadowlark was a satisfying follow-up to a book I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’ve read and liked Skylark, pick this up as soon as possible! If you haven’t read Skylark — DO IT!