The Vanishing Spark of Dusk by Sara Baysinger
Release Date: January 08, 2018
When Lark is stolen from Earth to be a slave on the planet Tavdora, she’s determined to find her way back home to her family, no matter the cost. Placed in the household of a notorious slave trader, Lark quickly learns her best assets are her eyes and ears. And if she’s brave enough, her voice.
Kalen is the Tavdorian son of a slave trader and in line to inherit his father’s business. But his growing feelings for Lark, the new house slave who dares to speak of freedom, compel him to reveal his new plan for the slave ships returning to Earth—escape. Together, they just might spark a change that flares across the universe.
Alright. There is so much to say with this book. Before I start, I do want to say that there may be slight spoilers regarding the plot line.
As well, make sure to read completely through, because this is actually a positive review despite my initial problems with the novel.
This story is about Lark Walker, a girl who is a Human among other species like Tavdorians and Onmarians from other planets. It’s a very sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy teen romance novel. If you’re not into dystopian and sci-fi, this isn’t a book for you. While I’d like to say it is to the likes of Divergent, The Hunger Games, The 100, etc, I find this book very different at the same time. Lark lives on a planation with other humans, such as her boyfriend Josiah, his little sister Rika, her mom, and some other Humans. They live a relatively normal life on a farm and have a deal with the Tavdorians that they will basically mind their own business and in turn, they won’t be captured to become slaves to these aliens.
The beginning of the novel moved very quickly and it was hard to follow along with all that was happening. Within a few pages, Lark goes from happy girlfriend to a betrayed girlfriend who’s cheating boyfriend helped send her off to slavery. Really weird, right? Except I found a hard time hating Josiah, the boy who Lark loved. He cheated on her with another girl and helped orchestrate her getting captured to slavery ‘for the good of their people’. Because this all happened so quickly, I was unable to be angry with Josiah. I felt as though his character wasn’t developed and because I never got to know him or how he was the perfect boyfriend to Lark previously, I had a hard time feeling the heartbreak she went through when he betrayed her.
Anyways, when Lark arrives to become a slave to the Tavdorians, we see another character die. I won’t say who for the sake of the review, but this person is important to Lark, yet I felt no connection when this character died. I didn’t feel the pain for Lark or for that character because again, I never really got to see the character develop and feel the relationship between the two. It just seemed very rushed.
Lark’s “master” is a cute boy, Kalen. Obviously. Because this is also a teen romance novel, duh. He seemed like a good guy and you can tell that Lark is going to like him. However, her life as a “slave” seems very un-slave-like. The slaves basically live as servants, treated well for the circumstances, and Lark even gets invited to drink and hookup with people at a party, because apparently slaves can volunteer to be violated by the Tavdorian masters at parties.
I didn’t think I was going to get through this novel when I started it. However, as I got into Part Two of the novel, I found myself enjoying the various subplots the fight for survival. The pointless characters were set aside and we focus on Lark, Kalen, Tarik, Cada, Zimri, and a select few other characters. Lark joins a secret society that is meant to free all slaves and finds a purpose for herself and hope to make it back home. She is torn between her promises to these people and her love that she is developing for Kalen, but she also knows she needs to do what is right in the fight for equality. The novel may be sci-fi, but it’s something everyone can connect to, essentially having Humans as the lowest species on the food chain, fighting for their equality and right for freedom.
Lark is a likable protagonist the whole way through. Despite my initial reservations in Part One of the novel, I found myself not wanting to put this book down once I reached Part Two and on, when the story really picked up and developed important characters. A lot happens, but it becomes exciting to follow along rather than confusing. You will feel a constant tug of good and bad within each character, but you will always know where Lark stands. The story quickly becomes about Lark finding herself, standing up for herself, and believing in her beauty, inside and out.
If you enjoy dystopian teen novels, I would definitely recommend trying this one out when it releases January 8th!