Initial Thoughts: It was hard to get into this book. I had forgotten a lot of the first book and I was a little confused. There was a bit of predictability to the plot so no surprises there. Still - an OK book. Do not read this series out of order - the first book is Skylark.
For a much anticipated sequel, Shadowlark had big shoes to fill. I enjoyed the world of the first book Skylark and I was very excited to get an advance copy of Shadowlark. The thing is, I really did not enjoy Shadowlark as much as I had hoped to.
Perhaps it’s because I read Skylark some time ago and I really couldn’t remember the world full of magic and mechanical contraptions. I’m kind of conflicted about this because the author is an amazing writer – it’s just that I could have benefitted from a better recap of events. This is unusual for me because I usually find recaps repetitive but for this book, it would have increased my enjoyment of Shadowlark because of the specialized terminology.
The world building in Shadowlark is quite imaginative. This is a world powered by people with magical abilities called Renewables. Their magic is harvested and used to power the cities – think Star Trek’s Borg hive queen for a visual. Understandably, these Renewables don’t want to be harvested and they form a Resistance to fight against the powers that be. The world above ground seems innocuous until nightfall when the inhabitants change into Shadowpeople, attacking anyone who is unfortunate enough to remain above ground. The underground city of Lethe was intriguing. There’s a nice mix of magic and steampunk contraptions in this world.
Shadowlark is full of action packed sequences, especially when Lark and Oren are on the surface searching for Lark’s brother Basil. There were quite a few hairy moments…While Lark is an interesting character, I have to say that Oren won my heart in this book.
The big reveal was easily guessed early on. I was kind of hoping that I was wrong and that there would be some sort of plot twist but alas, my guess was dead on.
All in all, Shadowlark was an OK read for me. Perhaps it suffers from “middle book” syndrome as another book is scheduled for 2014. Shadowlark should appeal to young adult readers however the series must be read in order and I would suggest that they be read close together.
Thank you to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for a review copy of this book.