(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – J. M. Frey https://jmfrey.net(AKA Peggy Barnett) is the author of more than a dozen books. The Skylark’s Songwas published in 2018 and is the first volume of her Skylark Saga series. This was the 101st book I completed in 2022.
I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own! Due to scenes of violence, I categorize this book/novel as R. The primary character is 17-year-old Robin Arianhod.
Sergeant Arianhod has grown up with the war raging between Saskwya and Klonn. As per the custom, she had begun her apprenticeship when she was only 11. She had finally earned her way to crew a glider. She was the flight mechanic responsible for aircraft maintenance. In combat, she rides behind the pilot and drops bombs when commanded. She also defends their ship with her gun.
That all changes the day that her pilot is confronted by the Coyote. The Coyote is a ruthless Klonn pilot that has brought many Saskwya down. After her pilot is wounded, Arianhod must take over. Amazingly she holds her own against the Coyote and lands their plane.
For that feat of courage, Arianhod is promoted to pilot, a mighty achievement for one of her class. Her exploits in the air against the Klonn grow, and she takes on the nickname of the Skylark. Eventually, she once again faces the Coyote. As good as she has become, her luck runs out, and she is shot down.
While Arianhod survives the resulting crash, her close friend and flight engineer Al does not. The Coyote makes her his captive. Instead of the treatment she feared, he treats her like an aristocrat. Their relationship develops, but as much as she is attracted to him, he is still the enemy.
When a strange, one-of-a-kind rocket pack falls into the Coyote’s possession, Arianhod decides she must escape. She has been repairing it, and now it is ready. If the Klonn can utilize the rocket pack, the war will swing in their favor.
Arianhod sees the rocket pack as her means of escape. She hopes she can then use it to bring the decade-long war to an end. But to do so, she must slip away. Once she has escaped, she will have to survive miles behind enemy lines. The odds are against her, but she always has been lucky.
I enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 288-page young adult, steampunk novel. This novel mixes intrigue, romance, and courage in a teenage girl’s life. The plot is infused with steampunk tech to give it an interesting twist. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a rating of 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.
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