Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
It fell flat. I could definitely feel the Coraline vibe going on. I could tell that's what the intention was. The world of adults doesn't understand Liza. They are disconnected from the real world and are far to worried about things like bills and where they put their glasses to see what's right in front of them or give their child the attention she deserves.
Liza travels to a scary place which she must travel through alone, with only her wits (and a large rat) to help her. The world is frightening and grotesque, and often times violent.
Unlike Coraline, the horror just wasn't really there. I mean it was written there, it just didn't work very well. It wasn't horrifying, because everything felt flat and forced. I wasn't able to feel anything in particular for Liza. She wasn't much of a character, and she didn't really have a whole lot of growth throughout the book. She wasn't able to articulate why she was willing to go through all this for her brother at the beginning, or at the end (I assume it was because she loved him, but she never actually verbalized that she loved him).
A giant rat that acted like a human named Mirabella helps Liza through most of her journey. Liza is disgusted by Mirabella though most of the book, and then is shocked when Mirabella betrays her. Somewhere along the way they became friends, I guess, but I didn't really see that moment happen. They just suddenly wear.
It lacked a vividness and a sense of place. Without that, the element of the grotesque and horror just doesn't come through very well, and so it wasn't a very interesting read.
If a kid I knew liked this genre came looking for a book, I would definitely point them to Coraline or The Graveyard Book first.
The Spindlers comes out October 2, 2012.