Book Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

Friday, September 27, 2013
Title: Shadowlark
Author: Meagan Spooner
Genre: steampunk, dystopia, supernatural, young adult, post-apocalyptic
Series: Skylark #2
Pages: 336 (ARC edition)
Published: expected October 1 2013
Source: blog tour hosted by Step Into Fiction
Rating: 4/5

Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley's wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She's always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever.

But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.

Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

Lark never asked to be anyone's savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone's weapon. She might not have a choice.

Shadowlark is the second book in Meagan Spooner's Skylark series, and it's a strong, exciting, and fun read. It's the rare sequel that improves upon the first book and that will thoroughly satisfy the series fans. Larger in scope and wider in focus, Shadowlark shows the familiar characters we've grown to love, as well as introducing new cities, new people, and altogether new threats. Like the first book, the story is divided into three parts, and as Lark moves from place to place, she uncovers troubling inconsistencies in the world she thought she knew.

I love when book series try to do something different from the norm, and with this series' creative uses and combinations of dystopia, post-apocalyptic, magic, and steampunk, it definitely qualifies as different. Spooner incorporates all these disparate elements remarkably well into a solid and strong mishmash of a world where magic is key, and cities are ruled absolutely through control of the "Renewables". The key aspects of each genre are worked into the novel subtly - the steampunk aspects are few but important, the dystopian flair is important but not overwhelming, the post-apocalyptic details are sparse but key to the world as it is. It may seem like too much for one series, but Spooner effortless combines them to create a viable, unique, and interesting world.

The characters we've read before have grown and changed greatly as a direct result from the events of book one. Lark, especially, has new issues to grapple and reconcile with here in book two. She is older, wiser, and more self-aware. She is able to fend for herself and though she has companions, she is pretty self-sufficient. Her growth from "fish-out-water" agoraphobe to intrepid adventurer has been handled rather well. She isn't as good at survivalism as say Tansy, or Oren, but she can definitely hold her own and save herself. Along with her new aptiitude outside of city walls, Lark also has to contend with her new powers and what they mean.

Like book one, Spooner crafts a pretty big twist later in the novel. If readers pay close attention, the twist is slightly more obvious than the one central to the plot in Skylark, but it still packs quite a punch when all is revealed. The small clues sprinkled throughout the narrative were well hidden and circumspect -- I think fans will be surprised and impressed with the latest turn Lark's story takes in the city of Lethe. Spooner's style of writing lends itself well to action and suspense, so the book is a fast, involving read. I was so involved that when I stopped reading to eat, I found myself 90 pages from the end. In one sitting. I could not put it down. Through her inventive ideas, complex characters, and action-packed plotting, Spooner has written a novel that refuses to be set aside.

Second novels in trilogies are notoriously hard to pull off with satisfaction. These "bridge books" often feel like filler, or like nothing happens, but that is far from the case with Shadowlark. I enjoyed it even more than the first book. The multiple questions raised by the narrative (what makes a monster? What does it mean to wield control? The needs of the few versus the needs of the many) are woven into Lark's story with ease and make for some critical thinking -- which can be sadly uncommon for a YA novel. Shadowlark is, above all, a great read and a thoroughly satisfying followup to Skylark. It won't disappoint, and it will leave readers extremely eager to see what unfurls in book three.

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads

Find her on:


Meagan Spooner has offered up a paperback copy of Shadowlark for a giveaway.

  • Open to US addresses only
  • Giveaway ends October 8th, 2013
  • Full contest terms and conditions found on Rafflecopter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize Giveaway (Open Internationally)

As part of the Shadowlark Blog Tour you can enter to win signed copies of Skylark and Shadowlark (US/Canada only) and unsigned copies of Skylark and Shadowlark sent via Book Depository (INTL). The winner will also win either a query critique (if an aspiring author) OR a pre-order copy of These Broken Stars (her new series co-written with Amie Kaufman).

For the grand prize giveaway, each stop will have a password to put on our review/post. In order for you to unlock more chances to win you’ll need to visit each stop to collect all the passwords. The password for this stop is BETRAYAL; use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win the grand prize!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 23
Tuesday, September 24
Wednesday, September 25
Thursday, September 26
Friday, September 27
Monday, September 30
Tuesday, October 1 {RELEASE DAY}
Wednesday, October 2
Thursday, October 3
Friday, October 4


  1. I love you. And Meagan Spooner. And this book.

  2. I honestly have NO clue. That's what I loved so much about Skylark, so unpredictable!

  3. I haven't read Skylark yet, so I don't know what I would want to happen in the second book - but I think the series sounds really amazing!

  4. I hope to see more Oren/Lark action :) ..Oh, and finding her brother, of course.

  5. I haven't read the first book in the series, so I don't know! Thanks for the great giveaway!!


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