A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow | Novella Review

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow is such a solid introduction to Harrow’s work. I have never picked up anything by Harrow prior to this novella. Now? I just want to read all the things by Harrow. I think it helps that this is part of a series called Fractured Fables — I love retold fairy tales. Also — the back cover copy compares A Spindle Splintered to Into The Spiderverse which is my favorite super hero movie — and one of the only ones I like. Granted, I haven’t watched all the Marvel movies — but I just love that one. So, clearly I was VERY eager to pick up this novella. Yo, it delivered. It SO delivered.

Zinnia Gray’s life is on a time clock. You see, she has this rare genetic disease caused by some chemicals that impacted pregnant women in Roseville. No one else with her genetic mutation has lived past twenty-two. And so, Zinnia has always known that she was going to die at before her twenty second birthday. As the novella opens, we learn that her best friend Charm has set up a special birthday party for Zinnia in a local abandoned tower and themed it to be like Sleeping Beauty — which Zinnia is obsessed with. Zinnia ends up pricking her finger as part of the celebration and is thrust into the fairytale of another princess – Primrose who is cursed to also prick her finger and sleep for a hundred years. But, as you may have guessed, there’s more to the story and to the curse.

I think either you love or you hate novellas. Personally, I greatly enjoy novellas. And honestly, the length of A Spindle Splintered worked really well for me as an introduction to Harrow. I didn’t feel as though this novella dragged. It took me like three pages to really get into the story. Honestly I would have finished this all in one setting if not for life obligations. I loved how Zinnia came into her own and finally got some agency and moved beyond being the dying girl. Also, her best friend Charm? I would like an entire book about Charm.

This novella is perfectly contained and does a great job flipping Sleeping Beauty on its head — while also discussing the various versions of Sleeping Beauty. And oh — this book is a tactile beautiful experience as well. The pages contain remixes of Arthur Rackham’s silhouette art which really leant this fantastical feel to the story.


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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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