Girls of Paper and Fire and Spindle Fire were some of the first books that I read this month, with one having major hype around it and the other being read because of my love of Sleeping Beauty. How shall they fare? One never knows with Mandy.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Well, wow. I don’t think I’ve seen such a creative, immersive world in such a long time. There have been a few contenders this year so far, but dear gosh, Girls of Paper and Fire blew them all away. Dear gosh, it was lush, beautiful, and so intricate. Y’ALLLLLLLL. Excuse me while I heavy breath over here over the beauty and marvel at the entirely unique world of Paper, Moon, and Steel castes with animal demons and more.
This book really was well worth the hype it has been getting. Not only was the world building and setting was exquisite, it also had stunning writing, wonderful characters, and so much emotional depth that I was so in the feels. I honestly can’t believe Ngan is a first time writer, and her writing style is truly gorgeous, making me willing to pick up whatever else she writes.
The characters were so complex and dynamic as well. Lei and Wren were amazingggggg. All of the Paper Girls had complexities and back stories that explained who they were and why they were behaving as such. Even the Demon King did.
The only issue was the pacing. It is a bit slow going, which I didn’t mind at first, but after a while, I kind of felt like it was going a bit in circles. It just lost a bit of momentum, and as much as I was enjoying it, I lost a tiny bit of the captivation since the pace was so slow. The ending did pick back up, but still, I lost a tiny bit of the intensity.
I will mention too that please look at the trigger warnings intensely before picking it up. There are a lot of parts that are really hard to read. They are real things that happen to women all around the world, but sequences in this novel can be quite triggering.
representation: Asian MC; f/f romance; sexual assault survivor
content warnings: murder of animal; graphic violence against women; sexual assault; gore/graphic violence
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
I mean, it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t necessarily bring the major goodness. It kept me intrigued enough that I would come back to it, but when I had a disc left and had to decide whether or not to renew it at the library, I decided that it was endgame and I wasn’t even intrigued enough to keep going. It was a super intriguing look at the Sleeping Beauty storyline, and I will give Hillyer major props. Aurora’s storyline was far more intriguing and interesting, and I was super enjoyed with Isabel’s. It was far too cliche for me on her end. Overall, it was a decent read, but it just didn’t have the intrigue enough for keeping me invested.
representation: blind MC, deaf MC (although she later can hear), mute MC (although she can later speak)
content warnings: murder of fictional animal (with graphic lead up); I didn’t read to the ending so I don’t know if there was any others
What do you think? Have you read these? What did you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!