View from the window seat:
Liza wakes up to find her younger brother Patrick has changed. She immediately knows what’s wrong: the spindlers have stolen his soul. Liza is the only one who can retrieve his soul, but to do so, she’ll have to travel Below and confront the spindler queen. If Liza doesn’t pass the queen’s tests, she’ll lose Patrick’s soul…and her own.
I’m a big Lauren Oliver fan. She has a very lush sense of description, her books sounding almost lyrical at times. I wasn’t wowed by The Spindlers, though. There’s nothing really wrong with the book. Her imagery of the world Below, with talking rats, bargaining troglods, and fluttering nocturni, is just as strong as in her other books.
I think what kept me from really liking this book is the lack of originality. The story is a familiar one: a girl with neglectful parents who don’t believe what she says has to go on an adventure to save something in a strange world where she meets new creatures and makes new friends. Oliver doesn’t really do anything new with this story.
The strongest aspect of the book is the relationship between Liza and her brother Patrick. Liza immediately notices a difference in Patrick, and knows that the boy in front of her isn’t really her brother. While she at times she hates and is annoyed by her brother, she never doubts that she must rescue him. She loves him, and because of that, she’ll undergo any task to reach him.
The Spindlers doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it’s not a terrible read.
Note: I received this ARC from the publisher at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference.