Synopses & Reviews
One night when Liza 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. In fact, he was quite, quite different.
When Liza's brother, Patrick, changes overnight, Liza knows exactly what has happened: The spindlers have gotten to him and stolen his soul.
She knows, too, that she is the only one who can save him.
To rescue Patrick, Liza must go Below, armed with little more than her wits and a broom. There, she uncovers a vast world populated with talking rats, music-loving moles, greedy troglods, and overexcitable nids... as well as terrible dangers. But she will face her greatest challenge at the spindlers' nests, where she encounters the evil queen and must pass a series of deadly tests — or else her soul, too, will remain Below forever.
From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver comes a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty, the meaning of love, and the enduring power of hope.
"Liza knows the spiderlike Spindlers have stolen the soul of her brother, Patrick, when he spells 'I H-A-T-E Y-O-U' in his Alpha-Bits cereal one morning. 'And they had left this thing, this not-younger-brother, in its place.' Liza's harried parents reprimand her for making up stories, so she ventures into the damp basement, crawls through the hole behind the bookcase, and falls into the world 'Below' to save her brother. There, a gaudily dressed, loquacious rat, Mirabella, agrees to lead Liza to the Spindlers' nests. Along the way, Mirabella introduces Liza to troglods, who sell lost human objects; the lumer-lumpen (glowworms); nocturni, who guard human souls; and other strange, frightening creatures. The terrain changes in dreamlike fashion as Liza travels through market, forest, palace, mountain, and more, making discoveries both terrible and hopeful. Themes of fairness, loyalty, betrayal, and redemption play out in Liza and Mirabella's relationship, and throughout the underworld cosmos. Oliver's (Liesl & Po) magical, mesmerizing quest affirms the saving power of story, friendship, and love. Ages 8 – 12. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Richly detailed, at times poetic, ultimately moving; a book to be puzzled over, enjoyed and, ideally, read aloud." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"This imaginative fantasy emphasizes individual initiative and the power of hope and friendship. With strong, self-reliant female characters and well-defined action, this is a strong addition to fantasy collections." School Library Journal (starred review)
"Oliver's fluid, poetic prose elevates this tale above the genre, often imparting weight to the simplest sentences....this is sure to win over middle-grade readers." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
"Lauren Oliver will again sweep up younger readers with her dark and illuminating tale....The novel pulses with great adventure and plenty of heart." Shelf Awareness (starred review)
Evocative of Alice in Wonderland, this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope. Perfect for fans of the author s other middle grade novels: Liesl & Po and the Curiosity House series.
Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers evil, spiderlike beings came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.
Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy: she must brave tree-snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting scawgs before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.
About the Author
Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestseller Before I Fall, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. Her thrilling second novel, Delirium, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and is the first book in a trilogy. Oliver is also the author of a luminous novel for younger readers, Liesl & Po. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the MFA program at New York University, Lauren is now a full-time writer and lives in Brooklyn, New York.