You know a book is going to be shitty when the setting is in 1313 but everything sounds and reads modern. That’s the first thing wrong with Spindle Fire. The second is that it’s generic and boring as hell. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed Isabella character. She was spunky and fearless while Aurora was just too damn docile and uninteresting. Did I mention that Isabella is blind? I believe that is the only interesting and redeeming quality this book has going for it. With that said I’m not an expert on the subject of blindness so I can’t really tell if Isabella was an accurate portrayal.
Now getting back to Spindle Fire. I was pretty excited for this retelling because as you can see there aren’t many Sleeping Beauty retellings in YA. Sadly, I’m disappointed. Not only is the world-building non-existent but it’s poorly done and not explained properly in my opinion. All I know is that people paid a tithe to the faeries for whatever reason and that’s that. It’s also the reason why Aurora can’t speak or feel and Isabella is blind.
You would think with characters like that Spindle Fire would be amazing. Instead its elegant and dreamy prose that does nothing to bring life to this flat and lifeless retelling. Also not a huge fan of the multiple POVs. Especially when they all start melding together and sound the same. Sorry but multiple POVs is an extremely hard task to accomplish because of your characters need to have a distinct voice within the book. If you can’t achieve that don’t bother trying.
Harsh, but this is the reality and a major problem I had with Spindle Fire. The other is the present tense. Um if your book is taking place in a fantasy setting in the year 1313, one would think ye old English would have been used at some point. Or at least quit with all the showing and telling. This is a story that is supposed to be told yet the way it’s written is rather distracting and it takes you out of the story. It just didn’t feel natural. The other thing is the insta-love. I’m all for romance and I know in YA it happens but when I say insta-love I mean insta-love. Child these people were travel one page and the next a marriage proposal. Nobody got time for that.
Overall, there is nothing remotely positive for me to say about Spindle Fire. I just didn’t enjoy it the way I wish I could. Seriously, there is so much potential to be had but it’s bogged down with stilted writing and dialogue. Along with a craptastic ending. That ending irked my nerves. Oh yet there’s isn’t any battle scenes or action whatsoever. Still if you’re into retellings with romance then by all means give Spindle Fire a try.
*Received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review via Edelweiss