Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver

Barnes & Noble

Evocative of Alice in Wonderland, this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope.

Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers—evil, spiderlike beings—came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.

Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy: she must brave tree-snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting scawgs before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.

Are you a fan of Labyrinth?  What about Harry Potter or Percy Jackson?  If you are, I have no doubt that you will like this book, too.

Lauren Oliver did a fantastic job of creating this underground world and populating it with new life forms and memorable characters.  I almost can't believe that this is the same author who wrote Before I Fall (young adult contemporary, which I also loved), since it's such a different genre.  Color me impressed!

I highly recommend this book for middle grade students and their parents.

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