Thursday, September 10, 2015

Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

spinning starlight
Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
Released: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads | Amazon

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 show 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 strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow. (from Goodreads)

I've never been a scientifically or technologically minded person, so it surprised me just how much I enjoyed this book (as well as R.C. Lewis's first book and companion novel, Stitching Snow). It's kind of like being thrown head first into a Star Trek episode, with the characters talking about this device or interacting with that tech. It certainly kept me on my toes in order to keep up with each important piece of sci-fi that was mentioned! Sci-fi as a genre is not one that I usually gravitate towards, but since R.C. Lewis intertwined it with a bit of fantasy and a healthy dose of fairytale re-imaging, I HAD to read.

While Spinning Starlight does have a wonderful romance in it, at its heart this book is about family. As the youngest of nine children, Liddi has never known a life without her tech-genius brothers, and her relationship with them truly is what makes this book special. I loved the bond Liddi shared with each and every one of them. I loved how they defined her, and how she comes to define herself without them. All her life she's lived in their shadows, with the eyes of the entire galaxy waiting for her to live up to the Jantzen family name. That's a lot of pressure to live with! And Liddi may have crumbled under it... had she not found her own voice, ironically by losing it.

Liddi is thrown into a world that she does not know, tasked with saving her brothers, the most important people in her life, much less the galaxy's - all while unable to speak. She's never trusted anyone but her brothers, and now their fate relies on her trusting a young man who has every reason to doubt her. There is so much that could go wrong, SO MUCH that relies on Liddi's strength of will. It was fantastic to watch and to feel Liddi's weaknesses become her strengths. She is the kind of heroine I LOVE rooting for!

Tiav was an interesting character to follow, as well. He is tasked from the get go as Liddi's handler when she stumbles out of a portal, lost, helpless, and confused, into his world. Their relationship is so sweet. It's riddled with boundaries - communication, cultural, religious - and rife with misunderstandings. And yet, these two just get each other. I loved watching them grow up and take on the galaxy together, with all the ups and downs that come with adventures.

The worlds in which Lewis created was thrilling to discover. Liddi comes from a seven planetary system, with a fabled eighth that turns out to be not so fabled. The seven planets are linked and completely reliant on each other, and Jantzen Tech is at the heart of keeping them connected. And Tiav's world, the eighth planet, is so wildly different in values and practice. Through these differences, Lewis explores the role that religion and technology play in society. How over-zealous, extremist behavior on both sides do far more damage than anything else.

This book explores trust and dependency and family and love and hate and self-worth and pride and humility. There is so much for a reader to take away from it! I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR list! And if you already have, then I recommend moving it up and reading this book as soon as possible!


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