Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Review - A Spindle Splintered [AUDIO]

A Spindle Splintered

by Alix E. Harrow
Date: 2021
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Reading level: NA
Book type: novella
Length: 3 hours 20 minutes
Format: audio book [unabridged]
Source: library

It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

How can you muck up a fairy-tale retelling this badly?

If you enjoy in-your-face feminism, lots of Disney bashing (while also making lots of comparisons to the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty), too many pop-culture references, adults who act like teenagers, deus ex machina climaxes, and a vague plotline that makes little sense, you might enjoy A Spindle Splintered.

If any or all of those things annoy you, A Spindle Splintered is probably not for you.

The whole tone of the book turned me off. I felt like I was being preached at the whole time, like this was just a vehicle for the author's opinions on everything: politics, gender theory, feminism, media, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. And while I realize that fiction can be a reflection of such opinions, this was... not subtle. At all.

I listened to this book, and I think that made things even worse. All the men, especially the older ones, sounded really weird. Pompous and wheezy. And I found the story hard to follow, which is not the best thing to have happen when you're listening because you can't just flip back and re-read the parts that you didn't quite grasp the first time.

Overall, I'm wildly unimpressed.

Plot: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
Pace: 2/5
Performance: 2/5
Originality: 2/5
Enjoyment: 0/5

Overall: 1.33 out of 5