Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review: Shadowlark (Skylark #2) by Meagan Spooner

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11558256-shadowlarkGoodreads Synopsis:
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.


Review:
I think Meagan Spooner must pride herself on being able to shock her readers into gaping at her books like goldfish because it didn’t just happen in Skylark. She lulls us as readers into a false sense of security, where you’re nodding along thinking it all makes sense and you know what will happen with not a thread of doubt. Then BAHM! You don’t.

I have given up trying to work out which characters are bad/good, never mind their motives because every, single time I was wrong. You’d think I’d learn wouldn’t you? If you think of the most unexpected, extravagant idea for a plot twist, go for the opposite. The simplicity of the twists fit in the story perfectly and I found myself flicking back through the pages oohing and aahhing to myself about how it all made sense now.

That wasn’t the only thing I like about this book though, because I have to say that Meagan Spooner’s beautiful writing stole the show. As I mentioned in my review of Skylark, the imagery she creates is so vivid that you feel as though you’re living through the character. You not only feel every emotion as if it’s your own, but the surroundings suck you into a new world; it’s what you look for in a book.

I thought the world was completely set in the first book, because in a way with Lark’s city and The Iron Wood being so poles apart it was basically 2 worlds in 1 (if that makes sense) but then Spooner introduces Lethe; a city so different from the others yet so similar it’s brilliant. Even at the very end Lark doesn’t understand how the cities are the way they are.

Then again Lark doesn’t understand much about what’s going on. Her character is unbelievably strong but the naivety she brought from her city never truly left. She seems to run headfirst into danger, never truly realising her worth to those around her even after being consistently used and betrayed because of it. It’s in Lethe that she realises she’s had enough. To be honest I can’t blame her. With the way people talk about her as if she’s no more than a weapon to be used at her own risk, a saviour even sacrifice for the people who look at her with disgust never seeing her as more than a monster to be feared, it’s a wonder she lasted so long. I respect that.

I would suggest that you read this book soon after Skylark because I’ve seen reviews where the reader found it hard to get back into the world with all its specialist terms after so long. The only reason this didn’t happen for me must have been because I read it straight after Skylark since they’d both already been released (and I couldn’t wait).
Favourite Quotes:
“My heart constricted. Suddenly the Institute’s methods didn’t seem quite so monstrous. After all, what would I give to feel safe again every day, to know nothing could get me, that my family could sleep safely? How much would I sacrifice? My own safety? My life? My freedom?”

“There was so much I wished I could say – that I was glad he’d chosen what he did, that I was glad he was fighting for me, that if we survived tomorrow I wanted us to stay, or to go, or to do anything, as long as it was both of us together. But the words stuck in my throat.”

“The magic doesn’t give you a weapon,” he said softly. “It gives you a choice.”

“It’s not about just saving ourselves – we have to be worthy of salvation.”

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