Saturday, 31 October 2015

Review: Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis

Spinning Starlight by R. C. Lewis
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Released: October 6th 2015
My Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

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. (from Goodreads)

While I didn’t enjoy Spinning Starlight quite as much as Stitching Snow, I did like it and I’ve become a real fan of R. C. Lewis’s work. Looking forward to whatever she writes next!

I wasn’t very familiar with the fairytale this story was inspired by (The Wild Swans) but I really enjoyed the way it was retold in this sci-fi setting. Liddi was definitely an interesting character to follow. As an heiress with eight genius older brothers, she was under a lot of pressure to be just as smart and talented as them. Her entire life was in the public eye; she was constantly followed by cameras and reporters and rarely had a private moment to herself. You could understand how she felt and how frustrated she was when she was underestimated or told to sit by and wait for someone else to fix something for her. When her brothers lives were in danger though, she didn’t give up, even though she was told to several times. She wanted to save her brothers, and the other people involved in the situation. And after discovering what was really going on, there was no way she was going to sit back and do nothing. She listened to her instincts, came up with a plan, and executed it - all without her voice! It was pretty impressive, even if she did start off a bit all over the place. I liked the way she persevered with learning how to read and write even though she absolutely hated it - on her planet, there was no longer a written language because it just wasn’t seen as necessary, but in her new surroundings, it was the only way for her to communicate, and she knew she needed to get people on her side if she was going to succeed. I do think it would have been a lot easier for her to mouth words sometimes instead of trying to learn a new method of communication from scratch, but for some reason, that wasn’t really an option they considered, and she only mouthed words occasionally, even though it seemed an effective way of getting people to understand her. Never mind!

Tiav was one of the first people Liddi encountered when she left her planet and he was also one of the only people who decided to trust her and try to understand why she couldn’t speak and what her goals were. A lot of people were wary of Liddi and some downright hated her, but Tiav made an effort to figure out what was going on. He was the one who was teaching her to read and write and I liked the time they spent together! Even though the Liddi couldn’t speak with her own voice, you could see the other ways in which they became closer, and it was really sweet. It was nice to see Liddi expand her horizons and consider things in a way she never had before, and Tiav was partly responsible for that.

Plot-wise, I have to admit, a lot of the science/portals/conduit stuff was lost on me. I got the basics but I really didn’t understand how it all worked, how these portals existed, how they were sentient and all the technology etc. etc. It was just a bit confusing and perhaps could have been explained a little better. I did enjoy the main story though and I liked seeing the differences between the planets and the way people communicated with each other. I wasn’t a huge fan of the flashbacks of Liddi when she was younger, I felt there were a bit too many for the point they were trying to make, but I did enjoy getting to see Liddi interact with her brothers and understand how close they were as a family.

Overall, while some parts were a bit confusing, I did enjoy this book and would recommend it to fans of fairytale retellings and sci-fi, and especially if you liked Stitching Snow.

1 comment:

  1. I really likes Stitching Snow so I'm sad that everyone that had read this one isn't liking it as much. The original fairytale drives me crazy and every retelling I've read buys me too. I was kinda hoping this one would be the game changer. I guess not. I'll still read it though...one day.

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