I know what you’re thinking: It’s not Wednesday, it’s Friday. Believe me, I know. But I decided against changing the title of this post because a) it was supposed to go up on Wednesday, hence the “Book Review Wednesday” portion in the title, and b) it perfectly reflects the way my week has gone, which can be summed up like so: “WTF day is it? You’re kidding! Where did this week go, OMG.” Basically, this week made it a mission to subvert every single schedule and plan I had, to the point that I seriously don’t know what day it is. It’s quite disconcerting. I almost feel like I must have been kidnapped by a TARDIS in the night and dropped off before I could see all the awesome.
Anyway, today’s post is, much like myself, a few day’s off track and will be replacing whatever it is I would have written for today. (In an effort to somehow correct the flat tire of time I have occurring, I’m just going to bypass this week’s Friday post. You’ll get editing/writing/whatever insights next week, promise. 😉 ) So, now that I’ve set the story straight on why I’m posting this two days late, on to the review!
A Single Thread
By Cait Spivey
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
It’s been two weeks since Morgan Fletcher’s little sister, Erin, disappeared before his eyes in a flurry of spidersilk and blood. Probability says she’s dead; but when Erin comes to him in a dream, Morgan’s eyes are opened to a level of reality where probability doesn’t mean jack. His sister sees the web of time, and she’s got news for him: trouble is coming.
A cryptic riddle and flashing images of the future are all Morgan has to go on in order to save a mystery boy from a gruesome death. That’s if he even believes what’s happened to Erin. Is her spider-whisperer persona for real, or has his grief at losing her caused him to totally crack?
With a life at stake, Morgan isn’t taking any chances. Madness or no madness, he has to solve Erin’s riddle before it’s too late.
A Single Thread picks up right after I See the Web, answering some of the questions I was left with at the end of first installment within the first few chapters. Some, but not all. Still, I was excited by the resolution of things like why no one noticed the climatic moment at the end of the first book (they did, and the aftermath of that is explained in lots of satisfactory detail), what’s up with the neck-tingling danger thing (it’s not completely explained, but enough that I felt I had a better understanding of what it means and how it works), and even what’s next for Erin and Dawn.
But this book doesn’t center on the protagonist from the first one; instead, she’s more of a catalyst for Morgan’s story, sending her brother on a mission with an ominous riddle and final warning that speaks loads to the mystery about to unfold:
“Dance for the boy’s life. Dance for yours.”
That was perhaps my favorite line from the book, though the entire thing is riddled with Spivey’s usual brilliance. There were only two aspects that left me feeling a bit torn about the story, warranting the loss of the fifth star I desperately wanted to give it. On the one hand, I loved many of the elements more than the first — the plot arc, Morgan’s character, the way it further fleshed out the world. But on the other, there were a few things I struggled with.
While I liked Morgan as a character and felt Spivey showcased his emotional turmoil well, I did feel like she struggled with maintaining his voice more than I’ve seen her do in other works. There are still glittering gems of wit that leap off the page, but there are also moments where the character voice seemed to vacillate. Not a lot, but some.
The other thing I struggled with were the intuitive connections the characters made. In some ways, I wish this story had been longer and given more space to breathe, as there were several times where the characters made leaps in logic that didn’t feel believable, like they had inside knowledge they shouldn’t have had. I wanted a little more resistance to their suddenly being thrust into a supernatural world no one was aware of and for the unraveling of the riddle to be a little harder for the characters to figure out.
That said, there were a lot of things I loved more than the first installment in the series. My favorite element is the way Spivey’s work builds on its fellow stories, interconnecting and weaving together in ways that definitely enrich not only the world-building, but the reading experience as well. Similar to the first, there’s a distinct feeling that this is an origin story, and it can definitely be read alone, but I recommend reading the series in order. The Easter eggs Spivey has hidden can only be truly appreciated against the backdrop of the entire series.
**Content Note: Contains a lot of swearing and mild violence.**