I feel like it’s been awhile since I’ve tackled my NetGalley list, so I’ve decided to buckle down from my tbr and read some of my requests. The Starspun Web is the first children’s book I’ve requested from NetGalley and I’m really glad I checked that section out!
My usual disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
All her life, Tess has lived at Miss Ackerbee’s orphanage with her friends and her pet tarantula, Violet. But one day, a mysterious man named Mr. Cleat shows up and whisks Tess away to live with him. Before Tess leaves, Miss Ackerbee gives her a strange lens, and makes an even stranger admission: that Tess can travel to parallel worlds, and has been able to do so since she was found as a baby. Now, with her newfound abilities and the mysterious lens in tow, Tess must navigate life with Mr. Cleat and his nefarious housekeeper, who seem to be up to more than they let on. As Tess learns about the lens and its role in transporting her to other worlds, she discovers that behind Mr. Cleat’s oily smiles is a darker intention: one that could bring the world to its feet. Can Tess keep her secret from Mr. Cleat, and figure out what he’s up to? And what if the lens falls into the wrong hands? With the help of Violet and her friends from the orphanage, Tess can finally discover the truth about Mr. Cleat and, more importantly, herself.
What a fun read! I read a lot of fantasy books when I was younger and I know my younger self would have loved this book even more than I did now.
Tess was a great main character. She’s smart, curious, brave, and loyal. These traits are the driving force behind so many of her decisions, like leaving Ackerbee’s, defying Mr. Cleat, and finding the truth of her family. Tess’s friends/family are similarly driven to help those they love no matter the personal risks. These are characters anyone can look up to, regardless of age.
The plot itself is pretty fast-paced and imaginative. We learn so much about alternate realities, traveling between them, nefarious plans, and more scheming that it’s virtually impossible to be bored during the book. I haven’t read many books that take place in Ireland, especially between 1939-1945, so this added to the book and helped bring me into the story.
The book ends on a cliffhanger, which I wasn’t expecting, so I am eagerly awaiting the second book! The Starspun Web was a great story about adventure, science, bravery, and family, and I can’t wait to see what book two has in store for us.