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.
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