Book reviews Fantasy Retellings

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

A Spindle Splintered - The Cover

About the Book – A Spindle Splintered

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.

USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow’s A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story.

Goodreads Page

This book is basically a dark take on sleeping beauty featuring the original Sleeping beauty herself. That’s right the very own Briar Rose.

Read on for our review of the book

Our Review of A Spindle Splintered

Oh, how glad I am that I went for the audiobook. The synopsis of the book sounded so promising. I mean who wouldn’t love reading a twisted and darker version of fairy tales. The book though didn’t keep up to what I was expecting from it. It was like a quick mockery of a good story. Like somebody had quickly summarised a story in one breath. Somebody who is extremely chatty and opinionated. Ok! I realise now I am being just pure mean. I was literally fuming at the end of the audio play because I felt that this can’t be it. There has to be something more to it. But No! it is what it is. A quick summary of an otherwise good plot.

A spindle Splintered opens so beautifully. The book, in the beginning, seems full of hopes and fun. I was nodding along with a lot of stuff that the author/ character was saying and pointing out about sleeping beauty. Ok so in case you haven’t noticed yet, this book is basically a dark take on sleeping beauty featuring the original Sleeping beauty herself. That’s right the very own Briar Rose. I am obsessed with Beauty and Beast stories but I have never particularly paid much attention to sleeping beauty. This book actually nudged me a bit towards the story with how it started but then it all went wrong.

The problem with the book is that it opens up with so much fanfare that it forgets to keep up that excitement throughout. By the time it reaches the middle the book feels like already done with itself. Even I couldn’t see where this book could go. So naturally, from the middle, everything that happens in the book is so casual, half-hearted, cliche, and most importantly so fast wrapped that it feels more like a mockery. What’s worst is an even more irritating narration. It felt like as the plot lost its lustre, the book suddenly thought about maybe making the character more sarcastic or funny to save the book. Except it didn’t and the book from thereon went on to become noisy. Every sentence would end with the central character’s unnecessary ramblings and opinions or monologues(like I am doing in my review right now 😛). Unnecessary because it just overpowers and dominates the main storyline.

The heartening fact is that if this book had gone a bit deeper, this would have been so beautiful. The concepts and ideas, in theory, is so alluring but the execution faltered. The book from the middle is simply wandering here and there with absolutely no direction. At least that’s what I thought about. A lot of things said and done sounded so ludicrous as if they didn’t fit the plot but had to be inserted because they simply had to. The core idea was so brilliant that what hurts me more is why it got such a cold treatment. I was so deeply invested in the beginning, even though some of it sounded a bit off, but still, the plot seemed like heading in a nicer direction but somehow it got swayed from the path and in a rush to end the book, simply chopped all the ongoing tracks and tied it together with a THE END board.


Yeah, I do realise I have been mean in my review but that’s because I was so in love with the core idea of the plot. It was a rare outtake and with a bit more depth and plot development, this could have completely changed the end results. Like Cinderella is dead, that book completely changed the whole Cinderella story for me but in such a nice and believable way. This book could have been equally shining, if not even more than that, had it not been treated so hastily. 

Squirrel Rating

Check other Retellings with us:
1. Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston
2. Curse of the Wolf King by Tessonja Odette

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