In the years following the destructive Long Winter, when half the world’s population perished, the State remains locked in battle against the Sensitives: humans born with extra abilities.
As one of the last descendants of the State’s Founders, seventeen-year-old Lark Greene knows her place: study hard and be a model citizen so she can follow in her family’s footsteps. Her life’s been set since birth, and she’s looking forward to graduating and settling down with Beck, the boy she’s loved longer than she can remember.
However, after Beck is accused of being Sensitive and organizing an attack against Lark, he disappears. Heartbroken and convinced the State made a mistake, Lark sets out to find him and clear his name.
But what she discovers is more dangerous and frightening than Sensitives: She must kill the boy she loves, unless he kills her first.
Contest at the end of post - hang on!!
But at its heart, Larkstorm is a love story. Lark and Beck grow up believing they are destined to be together and the earlier scenes attest to their devotion. I loved the interactions between them - the tension! OMG, how does Lark manage to not jump all over that boy and eat him alive?? She definitely has more will power than I do! I also admired Lark's bravery for going against everything she was brought up to believe in order to find Beck and clear his name. When the two are reunited (well, that's a bit spoilery, but you knew it would happen), I admit I had an 'Ah, that's so sweet' moment. I was eager to see how the two would fight the system together and bring it down. At that point, Miller pulled the rug out from under me, and I learned things that I really wish I hadn't. I'm all for a good plot twist, but it all seemed so unfair! I felt Lark's frustration and anger through it all, which is a testament to Miller's ability to tug on the reader's emotions.
Secondary characters - I have a fascination with secondary characters because I believe they're one of the hardest story elements to get right. They're in the backround, always lurking, always adding their two bits. As an author, you want them to shine and feel "real", but giving them their own unique flavor and history without letting them take over the story is hard, to say the least. In Larkstorm, I loved the character of Bethina. She reminded me a lot of Mrs. Weasley with her warm, motherly demeanor, and no-nonsense attitude. She really stood out. Other favorites included Lark's best friend Kyra and the creepy Eamon. They each added something to the story that intrigued me and made the story richer.
I will admit that I wish Lark had been a more active character in the last third of the book. Given the strength that Lark displays in the first half I thought there would be more instances of her pushing against those who I'll call the enemy (for lack of a better term since again, I don't want to spoil the fun). I didn't get that. But what I did see, and actually loved, was Lark's inner conflict as she tries to figure out who she is. Imagine the frustration and doubts that build as people try to convince you that you will hurt the one person you love or die yourself. This is an effective plot device, and Miller utilizes it to its full advantage by including her own unique elements.
Overall, Larkstorm is a recommendation for me. It goes on sale December 6th at Amazon, and will also be available at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords (I think). Links coming soon. It also has a very cool trailer - check it out!
BUT DON'T LEAVE YET!!! Because I'm also doing a contest! I'm giving away a copy of Larkstorm (kindle or nook version). All you have to do is comment on this blog post. You can get extra entries for:
1. tweeting the contest +1
2. being a follower +1
3. adding Larkstorm to your goodreads shelf +1
4. Finally, if you mention Larkstorm on your blog, I will give you not only 5 extra points on this contest, but 5 extra points on my 100 Book Celebration Contest. Link here!!
Add up your points please. Contest ends 12/9.
*Thank you Dawn Rae Miller for an advanced reader copy.