Review: The Star Spun Web by Sinead O’Hart

The Star Spun Web by Sinead O’Hart
Published by: Stripes
Released: 7th February 2019
Page Count: 384 Pages
Edition: Kindle
Rating: 3.5/5 

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

With her passion for scientific experimentation and her pet tarantula Violet, Tess de Sousa is no ordinary orphan. When a stranger shows up at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings, claiming to be a distant relative come to adopt her, Tess hopes to find some answers to her mysterious origins. But as she adjusts to her new life at Roedeer Lodge, it becomes clear that Norton F. Cleat knows more about Tess – and the strange star-shaped device left with her when she was abandoned as a baby – than he’s letting on. And when Tess discovers that the Starspinner is the gateway between her world and a parallel world in which war rages, she realizes she may be the key to a terrible plan. A plan she must stop at all costs… 


Tess de Sousa is an orphan with a huge passion for science and her pet tarantual, Violet who just wants to know where she came from. When a stranger turns up at Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings claiming to be a distant relative who wants to adopt her, Tess hopes this will help her find the answers she’s been looking for her whole life. However, as she adjusts to her new life with Norton F. Cleat it is clear that he knows more about Tess and the star-shaped device that was left with her when she was abandoned as a baby. When Tess discovers the star spinner is a gateway between parallel worlds one of which a war rages she realises that she is the key to an awful plan. One that must be stopped.

The Star-Spun Web is mysterious, magical read full of science, friendship and wonder. I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a read for me as 1) I have a phobia of spiders and didn’t know if I could manage to read a book with one as a central character and 2) it was about a topic that I didn’t know much about. However, these thoughts soon vanished as I really did enjoy it!

The story line itself is very unique and not one that I have seen used before in Middle Grade Fiction. The plot focuses on the multiverse theory – something that I’ll be honest I’d never heard of before and this just made me curious to find out more about it. The fact that Tess could visit parallel worlds just by using her mysterious star spinner was fascinating and I feel a lot of younger readers would find this concept extremely exciting. 

One thing that really stood out to me when reading The Star Spun Web was Tess’ extreme passion for science and conducting experiments. Reading about a young girl exploring the world of science was such an eye-opener. Tess could potentially be a role model for young girls wanting to get into STEM subjects. Also, Tess isn’t looked down upon for her passion. She is supported by her teachers and friends to follow her love and this was so admirable to read.

Friendships are also a big part of this book. Tess’ relationship with the girls at Ackerbee’s and with Millie stayed strong throughout even when you didn’t think the would. The mother/daughter relationship between her and Miss Ackerbee was so heartwarming. Through Miss Ackerbee’s actions you could tell that she really did care for Tess like she was one of her own. All throughout the book I was just raring her to go and rescue Tess. Thomas’s relationship with Tess was one that stood out to me. I just loved how despite coming from different universes they managed to connect through their passion for science. I must admit I was really shocked about the revelation regarding them both at the end of the story. I also can’t not talk about Violet, the tarantula that I came to love. She spun some magic and ALAS I couldn’t not love her. The descriptions of her expressions and the love Tess had for her just melted my heart. It goes to show the bond that humans and animals have with each other.

Despite the positives there were a few negatives within the story. In my opinion I found that the plot as a whole took a while to get going and this in turn put me on edge. Mind you, as soon as the action kicked in I didn’t want to stop reading! There were also a few unanswered questions come the end. I’m not sure if this is going to become a series or not but I crossing my fingers that it does as there are so many questions I want answered!

The Star Spun Web is magical, mysterious, action packed read that weaves together friendship, science and a pet tarantula into a story that will amaze you until the end. 

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