Book Review: The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Book Review: The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Published: 13th September 2012 (UK) 2nd October 2012 (US)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (UK) HarperCollins (US)
Pages:  256
Readership: Children’s fiction
Genres: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★
Rating: Hardback
More: Goodreads

I am a Lauren Oliver super fan. Delirium and Before I Fall are two of my favourite young adult novels, and Liesl & Po was one of the first children’s novels I read as a book blogger. I adored them all – they were like nothing I had read before. Lauren Oliver has a genuine talent for writing beautifully and poetically. I reread her enchanting passages just to experience them again. I stop reading just to share a quote or make a note of it. It’s always vivid, colourful, and empathic. It makes you feel something and stays with you long after you’ve closed the book. The Spindlers is no different.

Although on one hand The Spindlers is a fun (and creepy!) fantasy adventure, it’s also about Liza – our protagonist – and her unconditional love for Patrick, her younger brother, that makes her risk her life and strive to save him even though they fight, argue, and irritate each other constantly. Liza’s already feeling alone: her parents seem distracted and ignore her, and her favourite babysitter and close friend has left for college. The sudden loss of Patrick – even though he’s been replaced by a loathsome doppelgänger – is enough to motivate her to enter the dangerous lair of the Spindlers – Below. They have taken Patrick’s soul to feed on. Can Liza bring him back?

The Spindlers struck me as being a perfect story for those who enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s Coraline – Liza enters Below through a concealed hole in the wall and discovers a hidden world full of very strange things – rats that dress up in stolen clothing, deadly forests, and little seeds of hope. Everything is described so colourfully, yet is never without a sinister edge. Its dark and spooky atmosphere carries through right until the very end.

The Spindles is an immensely magical novel with love and hope at its heart, the story of an intelligent young heroine, yet it’s not all bunnies and rainbows – how about Troglods and Scwags instead?

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing this book for review!

19 thoughts on “Book Review: The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

  1. I’ve been seeing this book around the web lately and was curious about it. I was a fan of Coraline, so perhaps I’d enjoy this one.

    I have a couple of Lauren Oliver books, but I’ve yet to read one!

  2. I just got the book yesterday and I’m excited to give it a try.

  3. I have read this book and I absolutely love it 🙂

  4. This sounds interesting! I haven’t read any young adult fiction since Midnight Palace and that was a few months ago. I should add this to my to read list, because I’m in the mood for some light reading

  5. I’m very behind in my reading of Oliver’s work, I wasn’t even aware of this book. This is going on my list, after Pandemonium, and it sounds good.

  6. I read the book, and I didn’t enjoy it. She has interesting set-pieces, but the journey through the underworld is poorly plotted and the characters are weak. Very disappointing.

  7. What sort of age group would you say this is aimed at? I’m wondering if maybe this might be a book my 7 year old and I could read together?

    • Hmmm yes possibly! Does he read books like Roald Dahl? Because I was thinking that it can actually be quite creepy/scary but then a lot of Roald Dahl stories are too. I don’t have the book with me right now but I don’t remember the language being overly complicated.

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