3.71 (4,952 ratings by Goodreads)
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Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power, life.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city.

Lark did not expect to become the City's power supply.

For fifteen years, Lark Ainsley believed in a lie. Now she must escape the only world she's ever known...or face a fate more unimaginable than death.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 147 x 218 x 33mm | 499g
  • Minneapolis, United States
  • English
  • 0761388656
  • 9780761388654
  • 459,273

Review quote

Lark lives in a world powered by magic; since the war, however, magic is in short supply, so the small bits of magic with which children are born are siphoned off by the city when the children reach a certain age. Fifteen-year-old Lark hasn't been chosen for harvesting yet, and people, including Lark herself, are beginning to wonder why. When she's finally selected, it turns out to be for an unusual harvesting indeed, and she escapes into the wilderness to avoid becoming a human battery for the city's power supply. Once on the run, she meets a wild boy who helps her survive the terrors of the world outside the city walls, and she finds a settlement of folks like her--people with particularly strong magic that renews itself rather than dissipating as they grow older. The settings are fantastic in both meanings of the word, and they're beautifully drawn; Lark's experiences add further rich detail. Unfortunately, there's never really a full explanation of why Lark's power is different not only from others in the city but from other Renewables, and readers never learn why or how magical resources got scarce in the first place. That may be enough to generate sustained interest in the meantime. Shades of Lowry's The Giver (BCCB 4/93), Bick's Ashes (BCCB 10/11), Pullman's His Dark Materials (BCCB 4/96, 11/97, 1/01), The Matrix Trilogy, and even elements of steampunk wisp throughout the narrative at different points, but coherence depends overmuch on the temporal narration of Lark's journey, which becomes attenuated and a little dull as she faces one unrelated danger after another. Readers who enjoy speculating about gaps that may or may not be filled may nonetheless enjoy this techno-fantasy dystopian mashup.-- "Journal" (11/13/2012 12:00:00 AM)
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Rating details

4,952 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,334)
4 33% (1,635)
3 28% (1,381)
2 8% (398)
1 4% (204)

Our customer reviews

(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 more
by Sarah Elizabeth
Skylark. 4 of 5 star rating. No more
by Kate
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