Castle Lark and the Tale that Stopped Time by Zelda Leah Gatuskin
Synopsis: In a surprisingly cheery post-earth evacuation story, two teenagers return to explore earth as it repairs itself with a mysterious Vine. Everyone seems to have different intentions for how to deal with the Vine, but it has a master plan all its own. Science-fiction and Fantasy.
Review: The was a surprising look into not only what might happen to the planet if humans have their say, but also into ancient earths past. This story really has it all- wizards, hover cars, life on mars, mystical plant life, romance, hope for the future, and a nicely pulled of happy ending. While Gatuskin seems to enjoy weaving multiple new layers into her story at any given moment, there are a few things she does absolutely perfectly. The distinction between the children who were born on mars, and the parents who evacuated earth as children is painted with both amusement and longing for the world they’ve never know. Gatuskin understands the principles of science fiction perfectly and the story shows it.
Other notes: I picked up this book precisely because it had a dismal review from Library Journal (deciding when to trust book critics is my new mission). I was really happy to find out the review was wrong. While the book does have a slow start, it is definitely worth the read as the ending is so intricate and well done. However, if you are looking for a copy of this book, you won’t find it on Amazon- I borrowed my copy from a friend, and I’ve been told the only way to find it is the author’s website, http://www.amadorbooks.com/books/caslark.htm . It is a rare find, but definitely a good one. I plan on reading some of Gatuskin’s poetry when I can get my hands on it.