The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

This is why I had to read this book.

"One night when Lisa went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy grubbing and pancake loving younger brother who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not.
     She could not describe the difference. He looked the same, and was wearing the same ratty space-alien pajamas, with the same fat toe sticking out of the hole in the left foot of his red socks, and he came down the stairs exactly the same way the real Patrick would have done: bump, bump, bump, sliding on his rump.
     But he was not the same."

That is one heck of a 'suck you in' lead. As you read on a little farther it just gets creepier and better all at the same time.

It turns out that Patrick's soul has been taken by the spindlers. It would have been fine if spindlers had been anything but some kind of spider creature, but no sooner did I discover they were, I put the book down and abandoned it. You see, I have a wee bit of arachnophobia. I've worked hard to overcome it, but honestly, any book where spider creatures invade your body and steal your soul, is pretty much beyond my tolerance level. I tell you this so you will understand that this book is so very good that I was compelled to go back to it and finished it!

It is an amazing read!

Lisa is a seriously plucky protagonist. Even though she is more afraid than she has ever been in her life, she goes Below to rescue Patrick's soul from the spindlers. She meets up with Mirabella; a makeup, wig, and clothes wearing rat. Mirabella concedes to take Lisa to the spindler's nests. At first Liza is disdainful of Mirabella, but over time, becomes fond of her, and even calls her a friend. The two travellers have adventures aplenty. They barely escape with their lives numerous times.

Below is an ingenious world, populated with familiar creatures as well as all kinds of mythical beasts. I couldn't help but wonder how the heck Lauren Oliver was able to come up with such a creatively detailed world.

I won't spoil this too much for you except to tell you that this book has it all - richly developed characters, a plot steeped with mystery, intrigue, riddles, tests, betrayal, hope and redemption.

If you liked Coraline you will like this. 

Go read it for yourself.

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