Hello! So, this isn’t a ‘few days later’ and this also isn’t a post about Anuska but… Oh well.
I just finished reading Spindle for the second time a few hours ago and it was so overwhelmingly wonderful that I felt COMPELLED BY THE POWER OF THE BOOK GODS to review it. Oops.
Author: W.R. Gingell (I found another favorite author guys. I’m not kidding. This woman is wonderful.)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Heat level (on a scale of 0-5): Two. Just some nice, useful kissing.*
Violence (on a scale of 0-5): Umm… This one’s hard to call. For the vast majority of the book, nothing very violent happens at all─I’d say a one, really, it’s very chill─but towards the end there is one scene that’s a little bit… Yucky. It doesn’t go into great detail, but there is enough that the reader has no trouble figuring out what’s going on. So for that portion, I’d give it a three.
Language: I can’t think of a single instance where there’s any cursing whatsoever.
Age range: This book is fine for the littluns as far as things like language and canoodling** go, but the prose is, while absolutely gorgeous, a little difficult to digest at first. There are lots of big words and long sentences which I love, but again it might be hard for younger readers.
*Haha I’m so romantic.
**SHUT YOUR MOUTH ALL YE WHO JUDGE ME. CANOODLING IS A PERFECTLY LOGICAL WAY TO DESCRIBE IT.
This book is by newly discovered (by me, at least) indie author W.R. Gingell and it’s so witty and FUNNY AND BEAUTIFUL AND LOVELY AND I LOOOVE IT. Ahem. Anyway. The characters are so interestingly flawed that they seem to leap off of the page─no weak, listless, as-interesting-as-a-piece-of-styrofoam women, no annoying, pig-headed men who’s only use is to be eye candy for the females─I love them sOOO MUUUUCH.
Spindle is a retelling of the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty that is as little like Sleeping Beauty as possible without not actually being Sleeping Beauty. Make sense? Good. Polyhymnia─or Poly, as my poor, sleep-deprived brain is so glad of─is woken up one day by the kiss of an Enchanter named Luck and realizes that she hasn’t actually just been napping… In fact, she’s been asleep for three hundred years. And not only that, but she can’t seem to stay awake. Luck decides he should keep kissing her, even though it isn’t working, and many people want her many different places─and those are just a few of her problems. What ensues are their adventures as they bring Poly to stand before the Wizard Council, along the way thwarting curses, jinxes, a man named Mordion, and the occasional highway robber. They meet a dog-who-is-not-a-dog named Onepiece who is the most adorable child in the whole wide world* and he tags along too. AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH.
*This is 100% true. I’ve done extensive research.
Things that frustrated me:
Guys. NOTHING FRUSTRATED ME. Do you know how rare this is? I can’t think of single thing that made me so much as want to shovel my brains out with a spoon. Usually there’s one or two of those things, you know. BUT THERE WERE NONE.
Again, as FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC as the plot was, the characters were my absolute favorite.
- Poly: Poly is exactly the type of strong, smart, level-headed, witty woman that we need in YA literature these days. She was powerful but she wasn’t all like “LOOK AT ME I WILL STAB YOU AND STAB YOU AND STAB YOU AND I HAVE NO MERCY AND BASICALLY NO SOUL”. I mean, I’m not saying that every once in a while that kind of character isn’t acceptable and even enjoyable; I just get sick of it. But neither was she weak. Nobody (and I mean nobody) walked all over her. I particularly appreciated how she didn’t fawn over Luck or even really take him seriously, especially after all of these angst riddled love stories I’ve been reading lately.
“One day,” said Poly, tugging once again at the laces of her glove, “one day you’ll say please, and I’ll probably faint with shock.”
Over the chocolate box lid, Luck gave her a brilliant, dreamy smile that made Poly blink in surprise, and said: “Be a darling, Poly.”
There was a stifled giggle… and while Poly was still startled into immovability, Luck peeled the glove from her hand and tugged her forward.
“You shouldn’t smile at people like that,” Poly told him, becoming more of less coherent again. “Good grief, no wonder the redhead was peppering me with questions!”
“There’s something different about you today, Poly,” complained Luck. “Something picky and bothersome and annoying.”
“I’ve probably been living with you too long,” Poly told him, irritably. “It’s probably catching.”
- Luck: I’ve been sitting here for a while wondering just how exactly to explain Luck. Luck is an enchanter (powerful but not as powerful as Poly, which delights him to no end) and the most oblivious, clueless, least observant person in general that I have ever encountered. I absolutely love him. He understands only what is going on in his own mind and just expects everyone else to understand as well, even if he hasn’t spoken it aloud, which is annoying, but… But since I’m not in the book with him, I can enjoy it from afar. His single-mindedness is truly astounding, as well as his determination and utter devotion. Ridiculously fond of casting spells on people and not asking, this is another annoying/amusing aspect of him.
“You’re such a delightful little puzzle, Poly! We have experiments to do when we stop for the night. And I have to kiss you again.”
“No we don’t, and no you don’t,” said Poly positively.
“Also, we’ll need scones.”
“How are scones relevant?”
Luck gave her a blank look. “Scones are always relevant.”
When she got her breath back she said: “You’re going to have to stop doing that, you know.”
“No, I won’t,” said Luck. “Why should I? Poly, you are a beautiful, impossible woman. I knew you were hiding something.”
“Yes. Oh, yes, very much yours. You’ve brought back a corporeal something from meta-space again.”
“I know,” said Poly, eyeing him warily. He looked as though he might kiss her again.
- Onepiece: ONEPIECE IS SO CUTE AND TINY AND MISCHIEVOUS AND ADORABLE ASDFGHJKL. He was turned into a puppy when he was very, very young─like, before speaking and walking age─which is quite sad, but then Poly and Luck find him and rescue him. Slowly, Poly primarily but also, occasionally (when she bullies him) Luck begin helping him re-acclimate him to his human form. Onepiece’s complete adoration of Poly (whom he, adorably, begins to refer to as ‘Mum’) was one of the highlights of the book for me, as well as the level of humor he added to it. His sentences as he learns to speak with his ‘outside voice’ are hilarious.
“Hold Poly’s hand.”
The child in question did so, provoking an indignant response from Onepiece, who evidently hadn’t been taught to share and had no intention of so learning.
“My Poly,” he said irritable, tugging at the other child’s fingers. “Off, off, off!”
…Someone in the kitchen screamed. It was a staccato scream; short, sharp and possibly angry, and in the astonished silence that followed, Onepiece muttered sleepily: “Wasn’t me.”
I don’t think I need to say this, but… READ THIS BOOK. AND THEN READ ALL OF W.R. GINGELL’S OTHER BOOKS AND COME FANGIRL WITH ME.
Read on, lovelies!