- Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
- Format: Hardback | 338 pages
- Dimensions: 147mm x 216mm x 30mm | 1,338g
- Publication date: 1 October 2012
- Publication City/Country: Minneapolis
- ISBN 10: 0761388656
- ISBN 13: 9780761388654
- Sales rank: 265,882
Lark Ainsley has yearned to become an adult by having her magical energy harvested, but when she is finally chosen a special talent is revealed and, rather than become a human battery powering the dome that protects humanity, she escapes hoping to find the Iron Wood, a wilderness rumored to be inhabited by others like herself.
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By Sarah Elizabeth 03 Oct 2012
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Lerner Publishing Group and Netgalley.)
16-year-old Lark Ainsley lives in a bubble - a violet/silver dome which encapsulates 'the city' in which she lives. At the age of roughly 12, children are 'harvested', and then given the job that they will do during their adult life. 'Harvesting' involves taking the child's innate magic (or resource), and using it to power the clockwork of the city.
Lark is unusal in that she is 16 and still hasn't been harvested, everyone assumes that she's a dud, but when her name is eventually called, she finds the exact opposite to be true. Lark is a 'renewable', every time the 'machine' removes her magic, her body recreates it. Renewables are very rare and very valuable, and Lark finds that they plan to wire her up with glass tubes, and drain magic from her forever.
Knowing that her only chance is to escape, Lark makes a break for it. She was taught at school that the world outside the dome was inhospitable though, and she has no idea how to survive on her own, never mind how to deal with the ferocious beasts that live beyond the boundary.
How long can Lark really expect to last on her own outside of the dome? And is there really a place where people like her can live free from the machines of the city?
This was an okay read. I personally found it a little dull until towards the end, but it did have its merits. The world building was well thought out, and I honestly didn't know who Lark should trust and who she shouldn't trust, although I think I would have trusted far fewer people than Lark did.
I disliked the people of 'the city', and the way they used the renewables like batteries. It was generally a pretty nasty place with the way they 'harvested the resource', and Lark's own brother's reaction towards her was enough to put me off him for life. No such thing as 'blood is thicker than water' where he's concerned.
I did predict some of the twists but not all of them, and the finale at the end was definitely the best part of the book. The ending also left me curious as to what will happen in the next book, and I suspect that now that the scene has been set, the next book in the series will be better.
Overall; worth a read if you like dystopian/fantasy stories.
7 out of 10.
By Kate 23 Sep 2012
Skylark. 4 of 5 star rating. No review.