The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
* ARC read via Around The World ARC Tours
* Book will be released October 2, 2012
4 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes
This story feels like a Grimm fairy tale mixed with the love for words that you'll find in a Lemony Snicket book.
There's a dreaminess about everything and some pretty scary imagery. Spindlers, the bad guys, are just like spiders but they have human hands and their main goal is to steal souls. With how all the creatures are described and the tone I can almost see this becoming a creepy-cool Tim Burtonesque type movie.
Liza and her brother Patrick are close so when she wakes up one morning she knows that something is terribly wrong with him. She knows what's wrong with him because of a story that she's been told. The reader slowly learns the background of all the stories that their babysitter Anna told them and thus why they believe in many magical things.
It's nice that their parents are in the picture even if they are under a lot of stress. Their Dad seems really forgetful/stretched thin and her mom seems really exasperated with Liza and doesn't believe her when she says that the real Patrick is gone.
Liza knows that she has to save him herself and then that's where things get truly weird. She meets a giant rat named Mirabella who has a penchant for dressing up to try to look like a human. Mirabella even wears a wig and has a compact so she can powder her face. The rat becomes her guide to the strange world that she has fallen in to. I would also like to add that the only potential weapon Liza has is a broom.
The creatures of this world are really intriguing. With all the vivid descriptions you can almost imagine that you're there. I really like the lighting system they have and the currency (because by their standards I'd be a very rich woman.) You never know what's going to happen next in this crazy world.
I was surprised by the scariness of the book beyond the whole you know loosing your soul aspect of the book. Let's just say that some images may just keep you up at night.
This was a fun book full of magic, mystery, and thrills. Definitely a must read if you like strong characters and fantastical worlds.