Name: Spinner by Michael J. Bowler
Date Published: July 25, 2015
Genre: YA, Horror, Thriller, Mystery, Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 4.37/5 Stars
How I acquired it: I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion below.
Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.
In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.
They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.
The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.
The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.
If he survives…
Reading Level: ★★★★
My Overall Rating: ★★★★
This book caught my attention from the very beginning. Michael J. Bowler’s characters are 15 year old boys with learning disabilities and special powers, fighting to find the truth while running from those that want to kill them. The writing gripped me from the beginning and it was such a fun book to read I couldn’t put it down.
This plot was very different from anything I’ve ever read. It was an extremely fun story despite the problems the characters faced. Alex and his group of friends all have learning disabilities but Alex is the only one of his friends who has a power (which he calls spinning). Alex is able to take away people’s pain just by listening to them describe what’s wrong. As a result he feels the pain but only for a shortened amount of time. When his teacher is found murdered (after Alex dreams it happens) Alex and his friends set out to find out who did it and why. In the process he discovers two different groups of people are after him for his power.
Bowler writes (most of) this book in Alex’s and Roy’s (Alex’s best friend) POV. Which means he had to write it as if he had a hard time understanding large words and complicated sentences. As a writer I can’t imagine how difficult it was to write that way while still making sure your audience understood what you were trying to say. But he did it and it was extremely interesting and easy to read.
There was one major plot twist in this book that I still can’t believe and I wish we had been able to learn more about that side plot. However, the plot and conflicts were all wrapped up while still giving the author a chance to write a sequel that would fit perfectly with this first book. (Bowler please read this as I WOULD LOVE a sequel!) I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in thrillers, mysteries fantasies or just good books.