Goodreads: Spinning Starlight
Published: October 6, 2015
Spinning Starlight is an imaginative, compelling retelling of “The Wild Swans” that seamlessly integrates technology into the traditional tale.
Liddi Jantzen is the heiress to the most influential tech company in the Seven Points; she only wishes she were as clever at inventing tech as her older brothers are, so she can earn the role. But when all of her brothers go missing at the same time, trapped in the conduits between the seven planets, it is up to her–the girl with the “checked genes”–to find a way to save them. The final catch: the person who imprisoned them placed a vocal imprint in Liddi’s throat and if she speaks about the plan to anyone, her whole family will die.
In addition to telling a fast-paced, captivating story about a girls’ race to save her brother, and maybe even the whole galaxy, Lewis manages to pack a lot of personality and character development into Liddi, even when she isn’t allowed to use her voice. Tech obviously plays a large role in allowing Liddi alternate means of communication, nicely showing off the ways in which technology can help improve lives, but Liddi is also very active in wrenching back control of her own story and her own voice. Readers will love this savvy and kind-hearted heroine.
The brothers, even though there are a lot of them and they’re often kind of busy being trapped and all that, are also all roundly development. By making them seem as real and important as the characters who get most of the page time, Lewis makes sure her readers are as invested in the mission to save them as Liddi is. It is also clear why Liddi would be willing to risk so much for the family that had always been there for her.
The cool, futuristic setting adds a fresh face to the fairy tale Spinning Starlight is based on. Lewis clearly has put a lot of thought into the tech and the general mechanics of how her science fiction world work. She grounds it, however, by including some of the traditional elements science fiction often lacks; each planet has a clear history and culture, and even as people are surrounded by technology they often harken back to their past and their old religions.
Spinning Starlight is a breathtakingly original take on a heartwarming story about the importance of family and believing in yourself. Recommended.