Review: Spinning Briar

  • Title:
    • Spinning Briar
  • Author:
    • Rachel Huffmire
  • Release:
    • November 18, 2020
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Rachel V. White
  • Series:
    • Mirror Chronicles, Book 2

Spinning Briar alleviated some of the problems that I had with the first book. While it still focuses on a small group of people and their stories, it did a much better job of keeping me entertained. It’s a far more compelling story and I think it opens up even more doors for the series going forward.

Time Travel is a concept I love. Oftentimes, you end up with too many plot holes to count, paradoxes, and confusing as hell stories. These books have done an incredible job of keeping things easy to follow, consistent, and avoiding paradoxes. Book 1 didn’t address vaccines and diseases being transferred, while book 2 brought that up, which I appreciated. The extra attention to detail added to the believability of the story and world.

My first minor complaint is the technology. It’s incredibly short-sighted and not the least bit creative. The characters are using fibreoptic cables and tablets, which makes sense in 2021. I wasn’t paying attention much to the dates, but I believe this is set in 2165 or somewhere around there. To further explain my issue, imagine a time travel story set in 1850 with the characters 150 years in the future using telegraphs to communicate. It dates the novel and will stand out even more as a flaw as technology progresses. Better to invent something new and explain it than to use modern tech, which kneecaps its staying power.

The second minor complaint I have is the journals. I listened to the audiobook, so maybe it’s less jarring in the physical or ebook releases. But I would often time listen to these journals, only for them to abruptly end or confuse the hell out of me. I forgot to bring that up in my review of book 1, I nearly did a second time. They’re just too damn annoying to leave out a second time. The journal log would have been better at the start of the journal, at least in the audiobook version.

I almost never talk about the endings in novels. This one was very well done. It wrapped up the plot nicely while leaving plenty of room for sequels. It gives you just enough to get excited for a sequel without leaving you with a cliffhanger ending.

I’m sick of listening to this narrator mispronounce familiar. There’s only 1 r in familiar. “Farmiliar” isn’t a word. Why people add letters to words when speaking them is beyond me, but I find it insufferably annoying. Overall, the line readings and accents were great. It really helped characters feel distinct.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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