Spinning Starlight is a sci-fi retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Wild Swans”, a fairy tale I was admittedly unfamiliar with. If you’ve been reading my many retellings reviews lately, you’ll know that I definitely read the synopsis before reading this one. The similarities were definitely there, but this story is engaging all on its own. It follows Liddi, a sixteen-year-old girl destined to one day take over her family’s tech company, the largest one in the Seven Points (seven planets that are all connected by a unique traveling system). Raised by her eight brothers after her parents’ death, she feels like a bit of failure among them. Instead of the public seeing her as a tech prodigy, she appears to be more concerned about parties and dancing, as captured by the paparazzi-like vidcams. One day, however, her whole world is turned upside down when she is nearly kidnapped, then uncovers a conspiracy, but she is muted by an implant that will kill her brothers if she speaks at all. Escaping to a planet that no one in her world even knows existed, she is challenged to find the help she needs to save her brothers, as well as protect the new relationships she has forged.
I loved this story. I kept reading it at night while I was supposed to be sleeping, and it was really hard to put down. It in no way made me sleepy. It had a ton of suspense, and characters I loved, from Liddi to her new friend Tiav to her spectral brothers. I loved the science fiction twist on the original story, with technology that honestly doesn’t seem all that removed from our current world (for the most part). I also loved that it was science fiction but was also very human. From the familial relationships between Liddi and her brothers, to more complex political relationships that Liddi must untangle, everyone just seemed very real and very relatable. It was hard to know what choices Liddi should be making, even though I did have my own ideas.
Overall, this was a very suspenseful and well-written sci-fi story, with an interesting plot. It encompassed technology, religion, politics, and the very real ties that hold families together. Liddi is a well-rounded character, who you might not always agree with, but is very strong nonetheless. The other characters are likewise interesting, and the worldbuilding was very well done. I highly recommend this novel to any science fiction fans.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Thoughts on this book? Any other good sci-fi retellings I should check out? Let me know in the comments!