Tuesday, October 21, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

**I received this book for free from Scholastic Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Synopsis*

The third installment in the mesmerizing series from the irrepressible, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater.

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.


*My Thoughts*

"Queens and kings
Kings and queens
Blue lily, lily blue
Crowns and birds
Swords and things
Blue lily, lily blue"

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) continues Blue Sargent and The Raven Boys (Richard Gansey III, Adam Parrish, Ronan Lynch, and Noah) story. If you are new to this series, I would definitely recommend that you start from the beginning. Stiefvater has laid out a complex story line, with characters that are hard to resist, and really doesn't do a recap of previous events. Each book has featured one of the main Raven Boys. This time she gives Blue a bit more of a starring role while doing her usual switch between the various important characters.

The search for the dead welsh King Glendower is getting closer to being discovered, but there are plenty of surprises and mysteries yet to be uncovered. Blue's mother, Maura, has disappeared after promising not to be gone long, and nobody can tell her if she is dead or alive. She's expected to return to school for her senior year, while making plans for a future that is uncertain at best. She continues hunting for Glendower with Gansey and the Raven boys, and it is the most excitement she's ever had.

Blue, who has the ability to enhance a psychics powers, learns about yet another prophecy. This time it concerns three sleepers that are hidden in Cabeswater; two need to be awoken and the other should be left sleeping at all cost. Apparently it is her job to wake up one of the sleepers, while not disturbing one that shalt not be awakened, or the one in between.

Blue spends a lot of time commiserating with Gansey while wishing she was a bit taller. I would too if I was not even 5 feet tall! There is a whole lot of hand holding, but she is aware of yet another prophecy that says her true love will die by her kiss. Blue and Gansey's relationship has surprised me in that they are absolute opposites like day and night. Yet Blue finds that Gansey is a phone call away when the rest of the women in her family are busy with doing other things, or missing in action because of their own personal search.

As for the rest of the crew, Adam has promised to assist Cabeswater and is also being trained by Persephone in how to communicate with the entity. Adam, I believe, regrets his failed relationship with Blue which is no surprise. I think he definitely tries to come to acceptances that there is no going back, so he needs to work on his relationship with not only Gansey, but Ronan as well.

He does work with Ronan when Colin Greenmantle and his wife Piper comes to Henrietta looking for the Grey Man and a powerful artifact that he was promised. Adams relationship with Ronan highlights the changes that both boys have experienced since joining Gansey in his Glendower search. Gansey is still Gansey. Nothing has changed. Not his determination to find the long lost king, or the fact that one of the sleepers has a direct connection to Glendower. In a surprising move, Dr. Malory, Gansey's mentor from England, makes an appearance lending a bit of his knowledge to the search.

The ending to Blue Lily, Lily Blue is going to stay with me until the 4th book is released apparently in 2015. Wow. I knew there was a reason that Stiefvater added Piper to the storyline, but I'm shocked that she's more of a villain than Greenmantle. Piper definitely pushes back against the status quo that only men can be villains.

Definitely not surprised by Blue's apparent growth as a character. Hoping it expands even more in the next installment. Looking forward to the journey finally ending for Gansey after years of searching for Glendower. One can only hope that the rest of the Raven Boys and Blue are alongside to enjoy the moment.


Author - Maggie Stiefvater
Title - BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE (THE RAVEN CYCLE # 3)
Published by Scholastic Press
Released: October 21, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Magic, Romance, Fantasy, Myth
Format: E-Book, 416 pages



Monday, October 20, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Clariel (Abhorsen #4) by Garth Nix

**I received this book for free from Harper Collins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Synopsis*

Seventeen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilip. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all.


*My Thoughts*

I have been hearing a lot about how awesome the Abhorsen series was, especially from Margot @ Epic Reads. So, when this title became available through Harper Collins catalog on Edelweiss, I jumped in with both feet without reservation. I'm rather glad that I did. I love high fantasy novels. I love the world building that the authors create and the character who seem larger than life itself.

I love how the stories doesn't seem to take place in a brief period of time, but rather over a long time frame that gives the story more realism. I love how Nix creates a world filled with different kinds of magic like Charter and Free. I love how there isn't a real straight line between what is good magic, and what is evil. It is what you do with it that ultimately leads you to your fate.

Clariel is the story about 17 year Clariel who has forced to move from her only home she's ever loved in Estwael, to Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. Clariel immediately finds that she is suffocating by being blocked by in by walls, and not the open air and forest where she finds comfort and enjoyment. She is forced by her parents, Jaciel and Harvey, to attend normal functions of the high born, including attending school. Clariel isn't a character that necessarily needs friends. She finds that being alone isn't that big of a deal, which means that the story isn't filled with romance, or love triangles.

Clariel is being called the prequel to the Abhorsen series. The story takes place 600 years BEFORE Sabriel, and to my knowledge, only Moggett, who takes the form of a cat, is the only other character carried over from the first 3 books. Clariel, under an entirely different name, apparently appears in other Abhorsen stories, but I don't have any insight into what happens to her.

You do NOT need to read the rest of the Abhorsen series before reading this story, but people have been telling me that I probably should to get a better understanding of the world of the Abhorsen's. I will be picking up Sabriel shortly, and surging forward until I am caught up. I understand that there WILL be a 5th story in the Abhorsen series coming from Garth Nix perhaps in 2015? No title or synopsis has been released as of this posting.

Clariel is the perfect example of the old adage that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Clariel is basically a good person, twisted by the discovery of Free Magic, that sends her down a dangerous road with no turning back. Her desire to learn more about the Free Magic, puts her in direct conflict with not only her parents, but individuals who use Charter Magic for good.

Clariel isn't the only character that has ever had her life turned upside by wrong choices trying to do a good thing. Remember Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader? Clariel tries so hard to remain good. She even goes as far as befriending Belatiel, while keeping others like Aronzo, at a distance. But, the more people try to use her, the more she understands about Free & Charter magic as well as the Abhorsen heritage, the more she dooms herself to a life alone without any friends.

Clariel is filled with action, betrayal, magical beings, and plot twisting fun. I would say that if you are a reader who is interested in starting this series, Clariel is perhaps your best choice. If you have read the first three novels in this series, then you definitely know Clariel's future and what he becomes.


Author - Garth Nix
Title - Clariel (Abhorsen # 4)
Published by Harper Collins
Released: October 14, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Format: E-Book, 382 pages



*Gizmos Book Reviews* Inner Demon (The Asylum Tales #3.3) by Jocelynn Drake

**I received this book for free from Harper Voyager Impulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Synopsis*

Gage is a powerful warlock in Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, goblins, and vampires walk free among humanity. But there are two dangerous entities murdering families and children, and Gage needs to stop them before anybody else gets hurt.

When Gage discovers a demon locked away it offers him access to dark magic in exchange for its freedom – a dangerous opportunity, but one that could save his loved ones. Gage must choose between what is right and what is easy … except he’s running out of time.



*My Thoughts*

Inner Demon is the final part to The Asylum Tale's serial finale. The other parts are Demon's Fury and Demon's Vow. Inner Demon picks up right where Demon's Vow left off. Warlock/Tattoo Artist Gage Powell's world has been teetering on the brink of disaster for some time now because of his desire to protect the two most important people in his life. He's made some really bad choices that have nearly cost him everything that he's worked hard for. The question remains, will Gage give in to powerful temptations, or will he find a way to save his town from powerful beings set to reign hell down on Low Town? Will he finally defeat the Ivory Towers, or will they destroy him once and for-all?

If you have read The Asylum Tales from the beginning, you know that Gage has had pretty interesting relationship with the mysterious Chang and his Doberman Pinschers. Chang has always been a curious character for me to figure out. What exactly is he? Does he have some unknown powers we haven't seen yet? Where did he get all the powerful magical artifacts that he keeps? How will he feel once he figures out that Gage is a Warlock and back working for the Ivory Tower? Answer given, but I will not spoil it for you. In fact, it makes perfect sense because Drake had previously discussed certain powerful beings who presumably don't exist thanks to the Tower.

I don't much care for the ending to this story and series for my own reasons. Others may find nothing wrong with the way things are left. I hate that Drake expects us to just be happy with it, and not demand more answers, or at least a wrap up novella from either Bronx, Gideon, or even Trixie's POV. There are so many loose ends that I must have answers! Readers can expect a wrap up with the nasty, horrific villains who have left a trail of dead bodies in their wake. You can also expect answers as to why the MAIN villain is doing what he is doing, and what HE is. Cryptic enough for you?

These are just a tip of the questions I have for Author Drake:

What happens next to Trixie and Gage? Will Gage ever defeat the Ivory Towers and gain his desired freedom?  Gage owes 2 years of his life to Lilith, will he rise up and defeat her or become one of her pawns? Will Bronx take over Gage's Tattoo business, or will he find something else to do? Will Gage's fateful decision towards the end of this book, come back to haunt him forever? Will Gideon or Trixie ever forgive Gage for his actions in stopping the villains? Will Gage let Trixie go, and find happiness with Serah instead?

I am in no way attacking the author. I just disagree with the way she handled the final installments of this series. I think there was plenty of room to expand on what happens next. There is an Epilogue to this story, but nothing is settled except for my adoration towards Serah remains strong. In fact, I think Serah shows more gumption, heroism, and backbone than either Gideon or Trixie combined.

In the end, The Asylum Tales was an interesting Urban Fantasy series filled with elves, goblins, vampires, warlocks and witches, powerful Lost Ones, and a tattoo artist who has tried to hide what he is from the town he calls home. I am a bit disappointed that the kids Gideon and Gage rescued from the Tower didn't have their own curtain call. Perhaps, just perhaps, Drake will find a moment in the future to come back and allow readers access to what happened after the ending of Inner Demon.


Author - Jocelynn Drake
Title - Inner Demon (The Asylum Tales #3.3)
Published by Harper Voyager Impulse
Releases: October 28, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: E-Book, 96 pages



Sunday, October 19, 2014

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Demon's Vow (The Asylum Tales #3.2) by Jocelynn Drake

**I received this book for free from Harper Voyager Impulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Synopsis*


Tattoo artist and warlock Gage is having a rough week. He’s trying to track down a mysterious murderer in Low Town while also chasing a powerful entity using forbidden Death Magic across the nation. When Gage discovers the two forces may be trying to unite, the stakes get even higher. With Gideon’s help, Gage is determined to stop the murderers before anyone else gets hurt – including his girlfriend, Trixie.

*My Thoughts*

Demon's Vow is part II of a III part finale to The Asylum Tales. This story picks up right where Demon's Fury left off. Warlock/Tattoo Artist Gage Powell's world has been thrown into a tail spin with Trixie's shocking news and intentions and the fact that he's up to his eye balls in magical troubles with no real solutions in sight. The more he digs for answers, the more twisted the secrets become. The more dangerous Gage's life becomes searching for a bit of hope, the less likely that Gage will end up with a happy ending. 

Gage continues to work with Gideon to track down a vicious killer who apparently is heading straight for Low Tow after leaving a stack of bodies in its wake. Low Town currently has its own problems with more women being killed, or vanishing into thin air. Gage, I think, could have been a really awesome warlock, like he is a tattoo artist and potion stirrer, had he been properly trained and not escaped from the Ivory Towers or ignored by his now dead mentor Simon Thorn. I like the fact that Gage can admit that he's basically a student, and Gideon is the teacher/mentor who hesitates in teaching Gage anything.

If you have read this series, you know that Gage has had more than his share of troubles, some by his own silly choices, some because the Ivory Towers are a bunch of power hungry beings who destroy entire cities if someone sneezes incorrectly. The last straw for Gage was being blackmailed by the Tower into becoming a part-time guardian after 10 years of being free. Gage's only hope for escaping the Towers, is finding a way to destroy them, and to protect people from their long reach.

Gage once again works alongside TAPPS investigator Serah Moynahan who has become a critical part of this final serial whether she likes it or not. Serah has had way more storyline than either Bronx, or Trixie at this point in the serial finale, but I'm not complaining. I'm not complaining because I still haven't forgiven Trixie, and wouldn't be surprised at this point at what happens to her. I'm not complaining because Serah has kept things hopping along, rather than bringing the story to a halt. 

Drake still hasn't soothed my feelings of major uneasiness over the final installment, or what will happen to Gage's friends when all is said and done. She's leaving dangerous situations lurking in the background, but only giving us bits and pieces, bread crumbs if you will, to figure out what will happen next. I hesitate to read the final installment for fear that I will be left disappointed. 

Onward to Inner Demon (The Asylum Tales #3.3) ::Fingers crossed::


Author - Jocelynn Drake
Title - Demons Vow (The Asylum Tales #3.2)
Published by Harper Voyager Impulse
Releases: October 21, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: E-Book, 96 pages



*Gizmos Book Reviews* Demon's Fury (The Asylum Tales #3.1) by Jocelynn Drake

**I received this book for free from Harper Voyager Impulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
*Synopsis*

Jocelynn Drake continues her successful Asylum Tales urban fantasy series with Demon’s Fury, set in a world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires walk free alongside humanity.

Powerful warlock and tattoo artist Gage has managed to escape the magical Ivory Towers who terrorize the rest of humans and monsters—but at a price. Now he must join forces with his nemesis, Gideon, to stop an unknown entity who is using old magic to commit gruesome murders. And as if that’s not keeping him busy enough, an investigator recruits Gage to help her track a killer... who may be targeting tattoo artists.


*My Thoughts*

Demon's Fury is part I of a III part serial finale to The Asylum Tale's series. It has been 3 months since Warlock/Tattoo Artist Gage Powell was blackmailed into working for The Tower after 10 years of being free. Gage's decision hasn't exactly been an easy one, nor is he completely free from the Towers long reach who doesn't necessarily trust his reasons for returning. He works alongside Gideon in order to investigate dangerous magical beings, while spying on The Tower and protecting the people from their machinations.

Things take an interesting turn when Gage he is approached by Serah Moynahan from TAPPS (Tattoo Artists & Potion Stirrers Society). Serah needs his help in finding a killer who brutally attacked another Tattoo Artist in a very vivid and disturbing manner. Serah is an interesting character who is a bit leary of Gage but doesn't run away when she discovers Gage's true heritage. Gage has something of a reputation not only with TAPPS, but the local police as well. Naturally, Serah is a as curious as a cat when it comes to understanding Gage, and finding out what makes him such a mystery that he has a closed file at TAPPS. 

If you have read the first two books in this series, you know that Gage is like a bull in a china shop at times. He never takes the easy way out. He constantly faces trouble, and manages to come out in one piece. I have an uneasy feeling about things to come, and I pray that I am wrong. Apparently, Drake also intends to test Gage and Trixie's relationship, and see what it takes to actually tear them apart.

Bronx will be my favorite Troll of all time by the time this series is finished. Next to Trixie, he is probably the most important person in Gage's life, and they work extremely well together. Bronx has a seedy past, but that doesn't mean that he continues that lifestyle. 

Although I like Trixie, and have since the beginning, she shattered my heart into tiny pieces in Demon's Fury with an interesting announcement and choice. I can't exactly blame her for anything, but her choice is nonetheless painful, and her timing couldn't be more confusing for Gage who has enough on his plate. 

Onward to Demon's Vow (The Asylum Tales #3.2)! 


Author - Jocelyn Drake
Title - Demon's Fury (The Asylum Tales # 3.1)
Published by Harper Voyager Impulse
Released: October 14, 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: E-Book, 100 pages



Friday, October 17, 2014

*Stacking the Shelves* Featuring The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Stacking the Shelves for the weeks of October 12 - October 18, 2014

Welcome back!  
Kind of a short week, but that is totally fine! I have found pleasure in reading once again, and am close to catching up. Thankfully, both November and December are extremely slow months!

Received via Edelweiss (Thanks Soho Teen!)

Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and living on the street, is blessed and cursed with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts, and she sees the cracks already forming in their truce. Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell.

Dymphna is a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She’s earned the nickname “Angel of Death” for the trail of beaus who have died trying to protect her from Mr. Davidson’s assassins. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and as Gloriana’s hold crumbles one burly henchman at a time, the girls will need one another more than ever.

As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens at every turn, Dymphna is determined to not only survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

Expected Publication: March 3, 2015 by Soho Teen (US)


Received via NetGalley (Thanks Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR!)

Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Expected Publication: March 3, 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Girous (BYR)


Received via NetGalley (Thanks Pocket Star!)

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.

Expected Publication: January 13, 2015 by Simon & Schuster Canada (Pocket Star)


Amazon Deals:
Don’t miss the breathtaking short story that connects the first two novels in the Starbound trilogy, These Broken Stars and This Shattered World

Tarver still has nightmares about the night, six months before the Icarus crash, when he rescued a group of civilian researchers being held hostage by brutal mercenaries. Now Tarver and Lilac must reconcile his memories of that fateful night with the truth that they uncovered on a mysterious planet after the Icarus crashed. 

Includes a bonus preview chapter from This Shattered World!

Published: October 7, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion


 A paranormal romance series. 
An epic journey. 
If the Seventine are released, will anyone survive?

Abigail Swish might not love her life, living in gang-ridden New York in 2035 and training to fight and survive with Compound 23. But she is grateful for a few things, especially her no-filter-between-brain-and-mouth best friend Lucy and her escape each night into a dream world far different from her own. 

In fact, sometimes she lives for the fleeting moments she spends at night with the man who fuels every romantic fantasy she’s ever had. But each morning reality returns. She could just cry. But she won’t of course; tears don’t change a damn thing.

Then without any warning, a month before her eighteenth birthday, everything does change. A guardian finds her. He explains, in a strangely familiar accent, that she was stashed on Earth for safekeeping and has been lost to her family ever since. And it is time to return home. To the First World; a land of unimagined beauty. 

Abigail and Lucy find themselves escaping New York, ending up on another planet and traversing through an unforgiving wilderness. Yeah, because that sort of thing just happens every day. Luckily an unexpected saviour arrives; the man from her dream-world. Brace is six-and-a-half feet of gorgeous perfectness, wrapped in an arrogance like no other. Unable to trust his assistance, and unsure which of her instincts to follow - kiss him or punch him in the mouth - Abigail eventually accepts his help to find her family. 

And what a family. Enter Josian, her father; larger than life and apparently not even human. He is Walker, a planet-less race revered as gods, causing mischief and mayhem through-out this star-system. Unfortunately, there is no time for a cosy reunion, since no one explained that by returning to First World her half-Walker genetics would act as a catalyst setting forth a chain of events which could spell disaster for not only her existence but that of all worlds.

First World is book one in the Walker Saga, a seven-book paranormal fantasy series.

Published: July 10, 2013 via Createspace

*Gizmos Book Reviews* Lark Ascending (Skylark #3) by Meagan Spooner

**I received this book for free from Carolrhoda Lab via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Synopsis*

Lark thought returning home to face her city was the hardest thing she'd ever do. She was wrong.

No longer the girl who ran for her life, Lark's ready for the Institute. She never dreamed she'd find a rebellion, a Renewable, and those she used to love embroiled in the fight of their lives. She's mastered her magic, but she still doesn't know if she can master the darkness stirring inside her. 

Nothing is simple anymore, and finding her place in this war—and discovering the terrible secrets behind her ruined world—might cost her everything she has left.


*My Thoughts*

Lark Ascending closes out the Skylark trilogy and leads our protagonist back to where it all began. Lark is going home. A home that has done nothing but treat her as a lab experiment, and gave her no other options but to run away into the so called wild. It is also the place where her brother Caesar betrayed her, and her parent's pretended that it's better off thinking she's dead, not unlike her brother Basil who disappeared 6 years ago.

Lark has struggled with her powers like Oren has with his shadow side. She continues to try to find her place in the world, and a purpose for what she's become. Lark has control over cold iron, as we saw in Skylark, and that makes her a powerful force to be reckoned with. Lark's goal has been to become the leader she needs to be, in order to tear down the Institute.

Upon her return with Oren, and Kris, she finds that a war is brewing inside. One side is apparently led by the betrayer himself, Caesar, while Gloriette, the Administrator of the Institute, once again continues to be the villain. It is also apparent that even though Lark is now known as the girl who left, and returned, her part in the revolution is not so clear. Not when a powerful Renewable named Eve, has been extracted from the Institute, and pushes Lark to a secondary role. The same Eve who helped Lark escape from the Institute and flee into the Wild.

There are some dynamics that I need to discuss about this book, none more important than Lark's relationship with Oren. Although I absolutely understood Oren's choices, I just didn't like the fact that Lark ends up paying the price for most of them. I abhor angst on any level, and I felt it was absolutely unnecessary to nearly destroy a relationship that was made through blood, sweat, and tears. In the end, I was actually rooting for Kris and Lark to find common ground, and leave Oren to his own idiocy.

I like Lark. I do. I like that she has these powers and doesn't allow them to go to her head, and hurt innocent people. I like that she wants to become a leader for good instead of being a powerful tool for evil. Some may say that Lark acts the part of a martyr. Yeah, no. I don't think that at all. I think that she's been put into a position, not of her choice, where she can change the status quo, and bring about a different world without the Institution. If the only way to stop evil from destroying the world is to sacrifice yourself and your powers in the process, so be it.

I loved her relationship with Nix, the mechanical pixie. I want a Nix, and would love for someone to invent one STAT! I found her relationship with Eve, the hardest not to scream at. The two of them are obviously connected in a major way, and instead of helping each other understand what they are capable of, Eve becomes no better than Gloriette. I'm glad that Spooner revealed what really caused the devastation to the world. It's not all that surprising when you truly consider the players involved.

Things I didn't like start with Caesar, Lark's former Enforcer betrayer brother now a member/leader of the rebellion. He truly was an egotistical piece of whale dung for nearly all of this story, and his actions are all his own, and nobody else's. His apology to Lark for his betrayal rang hollow and untrue. He digs himself into a large canyon by trusting Eve, and in the end, he is just a shallow human being who needed to be put down. He didn't even have the backbone to stand up for Lark and tell everyone what SHE did in order to save them.

Which leads to the ending. I didn't much care for the ending for either Lark or Eve for that matter. I felt a bit of anger towards nearly every single character, especially Caesar, her parents, and anyone else who had to lie in order to push Lark out the door once again. Honestly, I would have been happy had Lark walked away from EVERYONE, including Oren, and faced the world alone. But, it is what it is, and now I can move on to something else.

*Recvd 05/01/2014 via Edelweiss* Published: October 9th 2014 by Carolrhoda Lab

Author - Meagan Spooner
Title - Lark Ascending (Skylark # 3)
Published by Carolrhoda Lab
Released: October 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Format: E-ARC 328 pages






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