Title: To Walk with Spiders
Author: Hannah N. Richter
Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a wonderful week! Really trying to get out of my reading slump and I think I might finally be pulling myself out. After finishing this book, I needed another one immediately, but sadly class had to start, so now I have to wait to get home to snag another book. No, I am not in class writing this.
Anyway, back to the review!
This is Hannah N. Richter‘s debut novella and I have been so excited to finally read it! I met Hannah in a Facebook writing group called Your Write Dream (founded by Kristen Kieffer), and have been following her journey to getting your first book published. Needless to say, I got teary-eyed when she posted a photo of her and her book. Congratulations again, Hannah!
Remember, my opinion is one of many 🙂 And there may be spoilers . . .
Shiloh Kavanagh finds herself waking up on a beach after being thrown overboard off a research ship that was sailing in the North Atlantic. She finds herself in a strange land, one she is not familiar with. A boy her age, Luca (with a mystery about him), finds her and after a lot of persuasion on Shiloh’s part, he agrees to help her find her way home.
They journey through the land known as Iadira, to Luca’s home. They are met with dangers, near death experiences, and whirled into the political problems of the world.
Upon starting the book, I was thinking this was a story about a girl who gets stuck on an island after being thrown overboard, and she and the young man she finds, try to make their way back to civilization. Like one of those “survival” books about people who have never been on their own in the “wild” learning to take care of themselves until help comes.
But that wasn’t entirely the case.
Yes, they do get back to civilization, but this world with its strange people who grow antlers on their heads, and creatures who hunt mercilessly with venom in their teeth, and some sort of spiritual magic or power changed all of my expectations.
What I Liked
I liked how Shiloh is, in a way, “cool” about all the new things happening around her. She adapts somewhat well into this world and does her best to keep up with Luca. She even saves him a few times.
With it being a short story, Hannah added the right amount of detail without info dumping. I loved the detailed of the world she trickled in and her writing style. The story felt like it was a full novel, with introductions, tension, and a climatic ending where I couldn’t exactly put the book down till I read the last page.
I liked how Luca went from not caring whether Shiloh lived or died to wanting to protect her at any cost.
What I Didn’t Like
There were some confusing parts.
I thought the book took place on Earth, but somehow Shiloh ended up in this magical land. But reading on it seemed she was still on Earth and just in this area that the modern times hadn’t discovered. Or perhaps she was somehow whisked away to this land? The boy, Luca, at some point says that it was his fault that he brought her here, but I don’t remember it being fully explained.
There was a certain section that involved a maze, and it wasn’t like the tall hedges one runs through to get to the end. Shiloh and Luca are jumped from their location to another and another, each time trying to find the “exit.” I wasn’t sure how this would play into the story. They end up back at the “entrance” toward the end of the book, but their experience doesn’t repeat, which I found odd because they were being chased and might’ve used the maze to their advantage. Maybe?
Enjoyable, a nice afternoon adventure if you have nothing else to do. Though this took me far too long to finish because of my slump and me being back at school, but I am glad I did and I look forward to other stories Hannah has in stored!
Btw, Hannah is the one who designed the feature image:)