Spinning Starlight — R.C. Lewis

Many thanks to Disney Book Group, via NetGalley, for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review!


Warning: this review contains spoilers.  Some.

Wow. Okay, so this book is a retelling of a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale (“The Wild Swans”) but I wasn’t aware of this. Actually, that’s a lie, I probably was but I have such a huge number of books on my Kindle right now that I don’t remember the blurbs of every one.

Anyway, Spinning Starlight blew me away. I don’t even know how to express what about this book made me so happy. It’s YA sci-fi with the twist of being a fairytale retelling, but the fairytale element is really not that obvious, which is something I like — and it’s also not a super well-known fairy tale (as compared with ones like Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty, or Bluebeard).

I really liked Liddi. Yes, there clearly were the “good” people and “bad” people. The good ones were mainly Liddi, her brothers, and then once the really interesting section of the book starts, there was Tiav and a few others on Ferrine, although there is some question about his loyalty at one point. The “bad” person was clearly Minali, so there was that black-and-white, good-or-bad aspect that’s very fairytale-ish. And the fact that Minali was the main bad guy instead of there being more than one is also fairly stand fairytale fare.

Spinning Starlight also had some plot twists that I didn’t anticipate, such as the introduction of the device implanted in Liddi’s throat that meant she couldn’t talk. Obviously this meant finding help from people on Ferrine was much more difficult — even more so because writing had disappeared from Liddi’s planet — replaced with communication tablets (think AI that are almost sentient). But obviously without the use of comm tablets and without Liddi being able to speak, she can’t explain her predicament — Minali wanting to kill all 8 of her brothers for “the betterment of technology” — and this gets her in a lot of trouble on Ferrine.

And the Khua. ♥ They reminded me SO MUCH of the Naaru in World of Warcraft (yes, self-admission, I am a gamer and love WoW, haha). Not to the extent that I feel it was copied directly from WoW or anything, but enough to make me be able to visualize them as Liddi describes them.
And the ending, oh, my heart!! I finished this book in a McDonald’s while waiting for my husband to pick me up, and I almost started crying. It was a good ending, but sad, obviously.

Anyway. Definitely definitely recommend, and R.C. Lewis is most certainly going to be on my “look up more books by this author” list. Well done, Ms. Lewis!!