Review: Spinner By Tabi Card


Title: Spinner

Author: Tabi Card

My Rating: 3.75

Goodreads Rating: 4.01

Summary: 

“Tomorrow morning I am going to die. My limbs are straight, my hair a dull, flaxseed brown – magic’s curse doesn’t touch me. I can’t spin straw into gold any more than a magic user can escape deformity.” 

Greta is trapped by a lie. When the king hears her father’s deceitful claim of her spinning magic, he takes her and promises to end her life if she cannot spin a room of straw into gold by morning. 


But then the mysterious, magical spinner comes. His nightly appearance saves her life…and further tangles the web of lies she has woven for her survival. 

As Greta finds her heart slipping towards a love both dangerous and impossible, a question haunts her: how long will the charade last? 


Cover: 3/5

I really like this cover- it intrigued me into the story and I will say it now and say it again, covers are really important! Even though we all say don’t judge a book from it’s cover, we do and on this particular occasion it paid off!

Review:

I received a e-copy of this novella from the writer for reviewing purposes. All opinions and thoughts are mine purely.

First of all I want to say that the author, Tabi Card, is a really sweet person and it is always nice to speak to a kind, hardworking author from time to time.

Secondly, I enjoyed reading this retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It put a YA twist on the old take which I would of loved to read as a full length novel.

Plot:

The plot for the story  was rather simple, because this is a novella, but executed rather nicely. The story follows a girl, Greta, who is practically sold off to the King after her father boasts of her nonexistent  powers of turning straw to gold. Greta gets locked up every night so that she can change a whole room full of straw into gold, but a mysterious boy slips into the room every night and saves her from inevitable death that would be greeting her if her lies came to the surface.

It was a super fast read and the story always kept me wanting more at the end of a chapter.

One thing I have to say though is that there could of been more suspense. Not just the same I hope she doesn’t die thought at the end of the chapter. Another dynamic would of brought my life into the story I feel which would of made me feel more connected to the whole story overall.

Also more backstory! More backstory for the story, I really love immersing myself into a fantasy world and sadly the world building was running a little too thin for my liking.

Writing:

Card’s writing was smooth and easy to read. I didn’t have any major issues with it but I crave description which is probably why I loved the Night Circus so much. That was what the novel was lacking in which is a shame because I can categorically say that if that writing was more descriptive it would of been a more engaging read.

Characters:

Greta was an overall nice character. I felt really sympathetic towards her  situation, but again I wish I could of known more about her to build more of an attachment towards her.

I liked how The Spinner’s character was shrouded with mystery (I think I’m just drawn to mysterious characters anyway cough cough Kaz Brekker cough the Darkling cough) and his sinister act at the end of the Novella was very appreciated! I actually think his character was well written though a more in depth encounters with him would help develop his character more.

And now to the King. I really wish that his character was just something more than I got. Okay his a greedy King, but what else? At the end of the story it was a little frustrating and I was almost confused with his character.

What I liked:

  • The plot was an interesting take on Rumpelstiltskin
  • The writing was light and easy to read.
  • Fast, page turning read

What I didn’t like:

  • Writing sometimes too simplistic
  • The character of the King want developed
  • Not enough description/backstory

Verdict: Even though I feel like I was a little harsh in this review, I did enjoy this book and I feel like you would too if you are into fairy tale retelling, mysterious love interests or just fun reads which don’t just leave you hollow, but with a warm feeling.

You can purchase Spinner now on Amazon for 99p or $1.50 for Kindle.( I really hope a paperback addition comes soon!)

I’ll write soon.

-Astra

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Review: Town Of Evening Calm, Country Of Cherry Blossoms by Fumiyo Kouno

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Title: Town Of Evening Calm, Country Of Cherry Blossoms
Author: Fumiyo Kouno
Genres: Sequential Art (Manga), Historical Fiction
My Rating: 
3.75- 4 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.01

Summary (Goodreads):

What impact did World War II and the dropping of the atomic bomb have on the common people of Japan? Through the eyes of an average woman living in 1955, Japanese artist Fumiyo Kouno answers these questions. This award-winning manga appears in an English translation for the first time. Fumiyo Kouno’s light, free style of drawing evokes a tender reflection of this difficult period in Hiroshima’s postwar past. As the characters continue with everyday life, the shadow of the war and the atomic bombing linger ghostlike in the background. Kouno’s beautiful storytelling touches the reader’s heart but is never overly sentimental. A widely embraced best seller in Japan, where the work was also controversial, Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is the winner of several prestigious awards including Grand Prize at the 8th Japan Media Arts Festival (2004), New Life Award at the 9th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prizes (2005). Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms is made up of interconnected short stories; the first is a love story entitled Town of Evening Calm; followed by the two-part story Country of Cherry Blossoms.


Cover: 3/5

A cute, simple cover which is very misleading for the plot. I like how the girl is so carefree even though she is having so many heavy thoughts and feelings during the manga.

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Review: It had been months- no that’s too generous- years since I read manga and even on the Wednesday afternoon I did borrow this book from the library I didn’t have manga on my mind when I wanted to pick up some graphic novels. But this book stood out to my on the bookshelves, I didn’t know if it was the long title (I am a P!ATD fan after all, I’m drawn to long titles) or the simply yet pretty artwork on the cover.

Whatever it was, I am very happy I picked up this Manga.

Plot: The whole theme of the manga was centered around people trying to live after the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during the tail end of the second world war. The manga is split up into two stories, Town of evening calm and Country of cherry blossoms and only has 104 pages! So you can tell it was a rather quick read.  The first story (TOEC) was very very good. It follows Minami Hirano, a young woman who lives with her mother, a clerk in an office who has depressing flashbacks to when the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima. There is also a sweet side plot as well with her love interest, Yutaka- a collegue. Altogether the plot for Minami’s story is really tragic and eye-opening as well. It was beautifully written- or well drawn.

The second story (COCB), centers around Nanami Ishikawa, who is Minami’s brother’s daughter, and who the ripples of the atomic bomb still affect generations of the same family. Now this plot did seem a bit  unclear. This is probably because they flashed forward a bit, and then flashed back and flashed back and there were other sub plots that confused me further after that. I did like the second story, lets be clear, but it wasn’t as clear as the other one.

Characters: Minami is just a normal woman in the story and I think that works in its favour. This book is suppose to show what it is like for normal woman after the atomic bomb. I felt so sorry for her because of the suvivors guilt she was carrying. She was written really nicely and real, so she was enjoyable to read, despite the whole saddening undertones.

Nanami on the other hand felt like a naive teenage, which helped demonstrate how even after a small space of time the next generation start to forget about the horrors of the generation before them. She seemed like just the microphone for the story and not really anyone important, to be honest.

What I liked:

-The drawings were marvelous

-How such a heavy topic was weaved into an enjoyable story

-The great storytelling in the first story

What I disliked:

-How unclear the second story was

-That it was so short! I wanted more!

Verdict: I seriously enjoyed learning about these two women’s stories as it is a really important thing to still talk about. I do recommend this manga to anyone who is interested in this subject matter or curious about how people were affected after the bomb because even though this is fictional it oozes reality.

-Astra