I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 6th 2015
Source: the publisher
Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.
Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.
Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?
Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.
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According to the synopsis, Spinning Starlight is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans. I’ll admit, I haven’t read that one and have no idea what it’s about. But I’ll say this: In my opinion, Spinning Starlight was The Little Mermaid meets These Broken Stars and full of awesome. With intriguing characters, epic world-building and Lewis’ signature writing, this companion to Stitching Snow (one of my top reads of 2014) will take you on a wild ride!
I really liked Liddi. She’s burdened with a heavy responsibility from a young age, yet it never really goes to her head. In fact, it has the opposite effect and she actually doubts herself and her abilities. She puts a lot of pressure on herself to live up to other people’s expectations. She’s incredibly loyal to family and the love she has for her brothers – and the love they had for her – was amazing. Often, you see siblings fighting in YA and not getting along, so this was a very refreshing change of pace. I would have loved to get to know her brothers more, though. We definitely didn’t get to see enough of them and their interactions with Liddi!
In the journey to save her brothers, Liddi ends up being in a constant state of danger. She was almost always in an unknown place or situation and, without an easy means of communication, she had to fight to be understood and to survive. In my mind, that makes her brave, loyal and fierce.
The only thing that annoyed me, in regard to Liddi, was the process by which she and Tiav communicated in the beginning. Deciphering the weird syllables of Liddi’s robotic/computerized voice was a bit annoying and it often slowed down my reading pace.
I liked Tiav for the most part, especially in the beginning and end – though he lost some brownie points in the middle for some of his behavior! But in the beginning, when he first met Liddi, he was very level-headed and open-minded. He was quick to trust Liddi, though he remained cautious, but he was kind and very protective and accepting of her. Like I said, his behavior in the middle portion of the book kind of ticked me off, but from his perspective, I get why he acted the way he did, so I won’t come down too hard on him for it. And he definitely redeemed himself in the end.
There were a LOT of secondary characters in this book. As with Stitching Snow, I admired Lewis’ ability to make us care for characters that we didn’t really have a lot of time to get to know. Some note-worthy characters (for both good and bad reasons) are Garrin, Quain (who I liked but didn’t always trust), Shiin (again, liked her but didn’t trust her), Minali (don’t even get me started), Dom and Kalkig. But they are/were all wonderful characters that I loved reading about and, in some cases, would have liked to read about more and get to know better.
The Spinning Starlight world was WAY more elaborate than the Stitching Snow world – which is weird to say because I know it’s supposed to be the same world, since this was a companion novel. But Lewis definitely upped the world-building in this book and I love how detailed it was. At the same time, there was more action in Stitching Snow versus this book and the pacing of Stitching Snow felt faster, though I still read this book pretty quickly. The ending for both books felt slightly rushed, but I noticed it more so in Spinning Starlight. I really would have loved an epilogue, something to make the ending feel more complete.
The only two complaints I really have are with the flashbacks at the end of each chapter and some of the tech talk. The flashbacks were a bit confusing because they felt very random and I couldn’t figure out what they had to do with the chapter they proceeded. The formatting of this eARC was a bit off, though, so I’m wondering if they make more sense in the finished copy of the book. As for the tech talk, I really felt very lost and confused with a lot of the technology and the explanations for the Khua, conduits, etc. And not understanding a lot of that meant I was confused for a good portion of the book, so that took a bit of enjoyment away from reading.
But overall, this book was epic and a fun read. I love Lewis’ writing. I love the worlds she creates. I love the characters she develops. I just really love her books and can’t wait to see what she does next! And, of course, I highly recommend this book!
And now for the giveaway! 1 winner will receive a signed finished copies of STITCHING SNOW & SPINNING STARLIGHT. US Only. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter below!
About the Author:
R.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.
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