Wednesday, February 20, 2013
HarperCollins (October 2, 2012) 256 pages
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Liza loves her little brother, Patrick. Sure, he may annoy her at times, but what little brother doesn't? One morning she wakes up to discover her brother isn't the same one from the night before. She immediately knows that the Spindlers have taken his soul. Anna, her former babysitter, told her all about the Spindlers and how to avoid them. Patrick must have forgotten to say the charm before going to sleep, though. Since her parents don't believe her, she must go Below on her own to save Patrick. Along the way, she meets Mirabella, a rat that tries her best to "beautify" herself. She also meets many new creatures, like the Nocturni, troglods, nids, and many more both good and bad.
I have a love/hate relationship with the whole "this-book-is-this-meets-that" comparison. The Spindlers was claimed to be a "Alice in Wonderland" meets "Coraline". I actually have to agree this time! There was one particular scene that especially made me think of Coraline, but The Spindlers does have a dark, adventurous feel to it. Reading it brought me back to my childhood days of watching Goosebumps.
I enjoyed it! This was my first time reading anything by Oliver, but I do have even higher hope for Leisl and Po, which is on my reading shelf right now. I've heard even better things about it. I especially liked Liza's commitment to her family. They aren't perfect. Her parents are particularly stressed with bills, and not so fun at the moment, but Liza loves them, and at least tries to remain respectful of them.
Overall, this is a wonderful middle grade book for younger readers. It is slightly on the creepy side, but I don't think it will bother most readers.
*I was provided an ARC through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for my honest opinion.