Published by Disney Electronic Content on October 6th 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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 shows 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 fuses all the heart of the classic tale with a stunning, imaginative world in which a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.
R.C. Lewis won me over last year with Stitching Snow so when I heard she was writing another book, it immediately went on my to read list. Spinning Starlight is based on a Hans Christian Andersen classic, The Wild Swans and I admit, I don’t really know anything about that tale. Despite that, I found this retelling to be quite entertaining.
This story introduces us to Liddi Jantzen who is the daughter of the most powerful tech family in the galaxy. She has been surrounded by her family and a load of expectations her whole life and when we are introduced to her, we find out quite a bit about her. First, since her parents death’s, Liddi has really only had her older brothers to rely on and these days she doesn’t get to see them as often as she would like. Second, Liddi is worried that she won’t live up to the expectations that being a part of her family bring. It is clear she doubts herself and she compares herself to her brothers all the time and in her mind, she always falls short.
Unexpectedly Liddi finds herself in the middle of a situation she has no idea how to handle and the wrong move (or word) could end up killing her brothers. When Liddi ends up in another world, she finds herself connecting with Tiav, someone who can help her but also someone who can cause a lot of trouble for her. As Liddi works with (and sometimes against) Tiav to fix the conduit problem and save her brothers, she has to do it without the use of her voice.
I thought the character development was well done. Liddi’s story and the background of her family history was done in a way that gave me the information I wanted when I needed it. I loved getting introduced to her brothers and her parents through the flashbacks. I also thought the science part was well done – not that I know anything about physics or traveling to other worlds but the way things were explained only added to the detail and believability of the story. The world building was also well done.
Tiav was a great character. He is kind and patient with Liddi and I have to admit, there was a time where I wasn’t really sure how things were going to end up for these two. Immediately he was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and help her but she did end up burning him so I couldn’t really hold his actions against him. He is a great mix of smart, trusting, swoony, and loyal.
I can’t say much more about the details of this story only because I don’t want to give anything away. You do find out early on what is going on and why as well as who the bad guy is, but certain pieces of the whole story are revealed throughout the book. What I can say is that if you enjoy the sci fi genre and fairytale retellings, you should definitely check this one out. I enjoyed the whole thing and can’t wait to see what Lewis writes next.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy!