Book blurb via Goodreads:
"Sixteen-year-old Lark Ainsley has never seen the sky.
Her world ends at the edge of the vast domed barrier of energy enclosing all that’s left of humanity. For two hundred years the city has sustained this barrier by harvesting its children's innate magical energy when they reach adolescence. When it’s Lark’s turn to be harvested, she finds herself trapped in a nightmarish web of experiments and learns she is something out of legend itself: a Renewable, able to regenerate her own power after it’s been stripped.
Forced to flee the only home she knows to avoid life as a human battery, Lark must fight her way through the terrible wilderness beyond the edge of the world. With the city’s clockwork creations close on her heels and a strange wild boy stalking her in the countryside, she must move quickly if she is to have any hope of survival. She’s heard the stories that somewhere to the west are others like her, hidden in secret—but can she stay alive long enough to find them?"
I want to give this book a high rating, but I do know that there were a few flaws with this story, and at the same time, I don't really care. The story was unique but not at the same time. It had many of the same plot devices that many YA dystopian books have, but the way they were presented felt new.
There is a test at the start that brings to light that there is something different about the MC, the thing that makes her unique also puts her life in danger. There's an escape, a mysterious boy that helps her. A secret city, and a mysterious war that caused everything to become the way it is in the book.
For the most part, I didn't feel like I was reading a carbon copy of any other book regardless of the similarities it shares with the genre. But I really do hate when the genre uses a vague and undisclosed war to try and "explain" why people live in walled cities and need to be harvested. It's a McGuffin and doesn't need to be vague. I probably wouldn't dislike the idea of a war, if it was actually explained.
Lark is a.....I'm not really sure how to feel about her. She is just pretty average. And fairly useless without help of some kind. The supporting characters were mostly there just to fill outcast rolls of the genre. The character that I liked and was interested in learning more about was Oren. He was an interesting character, and I hope to see him in the other books.
From this review, you might gather that I didn't really like it, but I did. I read it really fast, the writing flowed nicely, and it had just enough mystery that I wasn't able to predict what was going to happen next, most of the time.