Title: The Spindlers
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: MG Fantasy
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 246 Pages
ISBN-10: 0061978086 (HarperCollins)
ISBN-13: 978-0061978081 (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by: Bridget
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.
From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.
Quick & Dirty: Very cute middle-grade fantasy with a fun story, good adventure and interesting characters.
Opening Sentence: One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake- loving younger brother, who irritated her and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not.
Liza loves her younger brother Patrick even though most of the time he is a pain. He is her playmate and best friend. One morning they wake up and Patrick is different. He isn’t his usual annoying self and right away Liza knows that something is wrong. Before their long time babysitter Anna went off to college she told Liza about the evil Spindlers and how they can steal your soul. She instantly knows this is what happened to Patrick. Liza tries to inform her parents but of course they don’t believe her, so it is up to her to try and save Patrick before it is too late, and the Spindlers eat his soul.
Liza has to travel to the Below. She sets on her journey and finds a door in her basement that leads to the wondrous Below. She soon befriends a giant fashionable rat named Mirabella who agrees to help guide her to the Spindlers. As they travel through the Below they meet many different and interesting creatures along the way. She has some close encounters, and at times she doubts that she will even make it to the nest to rescue Patrick. With wit and a little luck she finally makes it to the nest, but once there she has to face the evil Spindlers Queen. She only has one shot to save Patrick and herself from staying with the Spindlers forever.
I thought that Liza was a cute character. She really loves her little brother even though he can be a pain, and she is willing to risk her life to save him. There were times when she did irritate me a little, but to be honest I think it was just because she was so young. This book is defiantly set for a younger audience and while I don’t mind reading these I tend to not connect with the characters quite as much. That being said I think that a younger crowd will love Liza and connect with her much better than I did.
Overall, I thought that this book was a fun read. The adventure was really fun, the worldbuilding was fascinating, and it was a really fast read. I have always loved Lauren Oliver’s writing and this book is no exception, she really did a wonderful job. Oliver is very descriptive in her writing and I loved the world she created. The plot flowed really well and while it was predictable it was also really fun. I would highly recommend this to anyone that likes MG Fantasy, especially the age group it was written for. I think this book would be a wonderful introduction into the world of reading for younger children.
The nids filed into the stone seats that encircled the court, buzzing and chattering excitedly. Almost as soon as the nids were seated, the mole cried out, “All arise for the Honorable Judge Gobbington IV!” Instantly there was a general shuffling and rustling, and murmurs of excitement, as the nids climbed to their feet.
Liza stood along with everybody else. Mirabella was practically white with fear, and Liza’s throat was dry and chalky, as though she had inhaled sawdust.
She heard a scuffling sound, the noise of slapping footsteps along the dark, dank hall through which the mole had led them, then a dry, rattling cough. Finally the judge stepped into the amphitheater.
At least, Liza thought he must be the judge. He certainly looked wise. Although he was probably no taller than she, his head was at least four times the size of hers and incredibly wrinkled, like an enormous, shriveled pea. His face, in contrast, seemed ridiculously small: just a bare twig of a nose, and two squinty eyes, and a pinched mouth floating in the middle of that humongous head. Liza felt the wild urge to laugh, as she did sometimes when she got very nervous, and fought desperately to quell it.
Judge Gobbington IV had a large gavel tucked under one arm. He was wearing thick glasses and an elaborate black gown that reached almost all the way to the ground. His bare feet protruded from underneath its hem, however, and Liza saw that they were large and slightly webbed, like a duck’s. When he walked, his feet made a wet, slapping sound against the stone.
FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of The Spindlers. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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