My rating: 5 of 5 Stars
How I Got It: eBook
Publication Date: August 2015
Publisher: W.R. Gingell
Point of View: 3rd Person
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
So you know how I said I read Howl's Moving Castle as a kid, loved it, and now spend my reading life trying to find books that can somehow recapture THAT feeling?
W.R. Gingell's Spindle is, BY FAR, the closest thing I've found to match!
It's certainly not the same plot. It's not the same characters. But it is so much of the same STYLE and MAGIC and MOOD and WHIMSY, that I could almost believe I was reading a Diana Wynne Jones novel! Only Gingell maintains her own distinct voice all the while.
Okay, before I lose myself in gushing, let's get on to the review . . .
WHAT I LOVED
Well, obviously, I loved that it gave me all those throw-back Diana Wynne Jones feels. This book, though written in a contemporary style, has that old school feel that I just love. There's richness to the language that isn't flowery or overblown but just . . . clever, somehow. And addictively readable. Honestly, you can't separate the writing from the story with this book, because the plot wouldn't be as good without the distinctive writing style, and the writing style wouldn't work without this plot. It's such a perfect marriage of the two!
Poly--I loved the heroine. She's smart and capable without being too overly plucky or abrasive. I love how her soft heart is revealed via her interactions with Onepiece (the puppy . . . who's not really a puppy . . .), and her growing bond with him was one of my favorite parts of the book. Her relationship with Luck, the enchanter who rescued her from her three hundred year sleep, was SUPER fun to watch unfold.
Luck was also tremendously fun. He's a bit like Howl, he's a bit like Doctor Who . . . and he's a bit obnoxious, to be honest! But that's all part of his charm, ultimately. I can totally sympathize with the heroine wanting to slap him half the time! But . . . yeah, he can be pretty dreamy too . . . in a totally NOT standard sort of way . . .
The plot was crazy twisty-turny, and I couldn't possibly begin to describe it here without dropping major spoilers. Suffice it to say, Gingell expects her readers to be SMART. She drops clues and hints and plot threads early, and she expects her readers to remember them when those threads come back later. She doesn't spoon-feed her readers but believes in their ability to keep up with her. And I LOVE it.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE SO MUCH
Well, obviously I gave this book five stars, so there wasn't a whole lot I disliked! But it did have it's problems, I'll acknowledge. There were plot threads that never did quite make sense. A few storylines that I looked forward to seeing how they'd work in and resolve that never quite . . . did. That was a wee bit frustrating, I won't lie.
But I'm not going to knock a star for it because I just enjoyed the read so very, very much. And I fully intend to read everything else Gingell has written or will write, because she is just my kind of author! I bought this book directly after reading Masque, and I will probably go buy Blackfoot soon now as well, because I won't be able to wait long before diving back into the crazy, magical, wonderful world of the Two Monarchies.
This book, along with all the other books I read for May and June, is up for my Book of the Month award . . . which is technically going to be my Book of Two Months award this time, since I'm squishing two months together due to lack of reading time in May. (Sorry!)
Whichever book I pick as my Book of the Month I'll be giving away to one lucky mailing list subscriber! So be sure to subscribe if you'd like a chance to win.