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Review - Spindlers

Saturday, September 22, 2012
by Lauren Oliver

Publication: October 2, 2012
Pages: 256
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Harper Collins
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

ARC provided by publisher for review purposes
One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different.

When Liza's brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.

She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.

To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids . . . as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests--or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.

I'm in love with Lauren Oliver's writing all over again. Before I Fall and Delirium showed us that she can write emotional, heartwrenching novels. I haven't read Liesl & Po yet (where have I been?), but Spindlers has shown me that she can write magical fantasies that will capture the heart and inner child of middle-grade readers everywhere.

As I've mentioned in some past reviews, I'm an older sister myself, and I can easily relate to Liza. Yes, siblings get in fights, but they're your best friends. Half the time, they do the opposite of what you ask them to do, but they're also the ones who understand you best and truly care about you. This is the case with Liza. She remembers the annoying habits of her brother Patrick, but all faults are forgiven when she realizes that her brother's soul has been stolen by Spindlers. Without thought for herself and in spite her her fears, she decides to rescue him.

This book reminded me of Gregor the Overlander, which is also about an older sibling who goes "Below" to save a younger sibling. However, Spindlers is more magical and seems to be targeting a slightly younger audience. I love the portraits of the various characters that show up at the beginning of each chapter and only wish that the pictures were larger. The drawings are gorgeous and the world so magical that I wish there were more illustrations accompanying the text. On the bright side though, this also means that we get to imagine the world ourselves.

I love middle-grade fantasies for the fantastical worlds they bring to younger readers. Inside, I'm still a bit of a kid and get excited whenever I find an especially extraordinary fantasy book. While I may also enjoy darker, more mature works for young adults and the occasional adult paranormal/urban fantasy read, there's something about the innocent magic of middle-grade fantasies that calls out to me.

Spindlers captures that essential element.

This book is about sibling relationships, friendship, and taking courage in oneself. As I've also mentioned before, Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors. I am looking forward to seeing more new works from her, young adult and middle grade alike and whatever else she comes up with!

If this appeals to you, you may also enjoy Ordinary Magic by Caitlen Rubino-Bradway.

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Lauren Oliver Archive

6 comments on "Review - Spindlers"
  1. I have never read middle grade fantasy novels but the cover for this one GRABBED ME. It is so pretty. I think sometimes I need a break from romance and just want a fun adventurous novel and this seems like the one.

    great review!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. The cover really is gorgeous, isn't it? And the author is Lauren Oliver, one of my favorite authors!! I hope that you enjoy this one!!

  2. I'm looking forward to this one!

  3. I really love her writing style. And after absolutely loving Liesl and Po I knew I had to read this one too!!

    1. I love her writing style as well. I have yet to read Liesl and Po, but I'll be getting on that one ASAP!


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