Friday, October 5, 2012

Review: The Spindlers

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
Release: October 2, 2012
Source: e-ARC from publisher via Edelwiess

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.

While I usually read and review YA, I am never opposed to reading a middle grade book. Especially if it's by one Lauren Oliver.

In general, middle grade books have the potential to be magical, surprising, and nostalgic. And while I enjoyed The Spindlers, it did not blow me away.

The Spindlers is the story of Liza. She wakes up one day to discover her brother is not...normal. He's acting different, and she's convinced that The Spindlers are to blame. So Liza decides to go to find The Spindlers and reclaim her brother's soul.

Now, Lauren Oliver did a good job of describing Below, but there was a severe lack of world building. I wanted more detail, more magic, more danger, more...something...

Even the character of Liza didn't manage to stand out. I found her dull and too mature for her age. The fact that she goes to save her brother is admirable, yes, but I never connected with Liza and I don't know why. Mirabella, though, was a very amusing character. She's a vain and overgrown rat that Liza manages to befriend. She has the most amusing lines and she's definitely a comic relief. She made the book that much more enjoyable. 

And, honestly, this is Lauren Oliver. So I have to comment on the writing, which was lush and fluid, just like I remember. Her writing kept me hooked and kept me reading. I have no doubt the same will be true for many readers, especially the younger ones. I'm not saying this book is bad. Far from it. It was readable, enjoyable, but it lacked a certain spark and depth that I longed for. Perhaps I was expecting too much from a middle grade book? Regardless, I will continue to read Oliver's works because she a stellar writer.


1 comment:

  1. I quite like this story, but I thought Liesl & Po was better :) Her writing style is great and The spindlers were pretty scary :p but it didn't capture my attention like her other MG book. Great review!