Friday, October 9, 2015

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis [ARC REVIEW]

TITLE: Spinning Starlight
AUTHOR: R.C. Lewis
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
PUB DATE: Oct 6 2015
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.

- Source: Goodreads


"Slower doesn't sound better, but really, sometimes it is. If you give your mind a quiet moment, that's when the best ideas come."

At first I thought Spinning Starlight was a continuation of Stitching Snow, which I've said in my review was an 'okay' story and was better left a standalone book. So when I saw Spinning Starlight, I was hesitant to read it. Stitching Snow had a fitting ending all on its own, what more could you tell of that book? That was my reaction when I saw the cover design and author's name on Spinning Starlight, and yes, I did jump to conclusions without reading the synopsis yet. Pardon my impulsive retort.

It was a very bold move of the author to choose a fairy tale that isn't as popular as Cinderella, Snow White, and the like - and guess what, it worked!

If you're not familiar with Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans, you may find yourself a little lost. That is, if you're hoping for some fairy tale familiarity of the classics that often get remade and reimagined. This isn't one of those. But get ready for a spectacular sci-fi fairy tale experience! This may even make you want to check out the original.

There are a lot of complexities in Spinning Starlight. Complex setting. Complex time differences between worlds, and what is up with those moons? Complex jump rope game (that's a lot of rules for a kid's game). Complex scientific terms. Heck even their alphabet is also complex! What kind of language does this world have? But do not fear! Lewis does not leave her readers blind. For example, the planetary system of Liddi's world was a lot to take in but the author provides vivid descriptions that readers can fully immerse themselves into these details.

Pacing is balanced. It's not fast nor slow. It flows through in a way that's adamant to the scenes. Take the time when Liddi got to Ferinne, a reader needs to take time to adjust to the new environment much like the protagonist. It may seem slow but there is a lot of information to absorb.

I absolutely cherish the love in this book: Liddi's love her brothers and vice versa; Liddi and Tiav's love for each other. It wasn't the instant romance you'd expect from a fairy tale. It was developed throughout the entire book and you can actually see growth in them; and most of all, the love and respect for beings that they don't understand. (I'm going to be vague on this part). It feels like those beings represent nature in our world.

You could learn so much from Liddi's experience. It's kind of scary to think how so much development in technology could leave people more ignorant and illiterate in the end. It is true that relying too much on technology can really be bad and abusive at a certain extent.

Spinning Starlight is a great addition to the YA books with fairy tale reimagined stories out there. It's fun and exciting with a bittersweet ending. Definitely better than Stitching Snow. I'm so glad I gave this a chance.

*Thank you, Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for granting my request to view Spinning Starlight.

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