Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

The Star-spun Web

by

The Star-spun Web Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 18
18 Reviews
Write a 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 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...
 
Praise for  THE EYE OF THE NORTH  : "A charming, thrilling tale of adventure" - Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of  THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS  
 
"O'Hart's writing crackles with imagination" - Jennifer Bell, author of  THE UNCOMMONERS  

The Star-spun Web Reviews | Toppsta

9781788950220

Share on

Featured Book
Book pages Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day

Misfit witch Willow Moss holds the fate of the magical world of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands . . . A spellbinding new fantasy series for ages 8+

View book
Featured Book
Book pages Malamander
Malamander

Our reviewers LOVED this magical mystery set in Eerie-on-Sea, recommended for ages 8+

View book

Category

See More Fantasy & magical realism

First Line

"Through the hollow darkness of a winter's night, a man was running."

Media & Blog Reviews

  • "Tess is an excellent main character, full of bravery, curiosity and a special ability. She questions her world constantly and is not afraid of finding the answers, good or bad." (Erin Foote, Librarian)
  • "Sinéad hits it out of the park with her second novel." (Aoife, Barker & Jones Bookshop)

Sign up to our newsletter for...

Free Book Giveaways, Recommendations & more

Quotes

  • Tess had never imagined she was extraordinary and wondered how extraordinary people were supposed to act."
5th February '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
This fantastic story had me hooked from the Prologue! Throughout the book I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next. It was so well written that I was completely invested in the Tess (and Violet the tarantula) feeling I was on the journey with them. Tess is a fantastic female protagonist. I will definitely be passing this book on to upper KS2 pupils to read and review. 
2nd April '19
chaboyfaz read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
I really liked the look of this book, the front cover is interesting and the title makes you wonder what it is about. I haven’t read any books by this author before but I really enjoyed her writing. The book is quite long and there are no illustrations, which at the start made me think it would be boring, but it really wasn’t! 
I LOVED the story! I really liked the main character Tess and her pet was unexpected and for me a bit creepy, but they loved one another, so it was nice. I really liked that Tess had some great friends, who were really important in the story and it shows that we always need good friends in our lives. 
The story was different to most of the stories out there. It wasn’t magical or "princessy", it was adventurous and kind of science but also with some history. I liked how the author wrote the story and kept you trapped within the book. It was very hard to put down. I liked the author so much I can’t wait for her next book!
10th February '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
Wow! What a book, i was hooked from the start.  A mystery story full of magic and science with an eight-legged pet!  A lead female character that is feisty, intelligent, independent and inquisitive.  Orphan Tess is taken away from the only home she has known by a strange man, it soon becomes clear all is not what it seems as he has sinister plans for her.  Tess has to intervene before it is too late.  A thrilling and engaging read that keeps the reader engaged through its quick pace.  A definite recommendation for my year 6 class.
13th March '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
A world splitting, cracking adventure story with a heroine and friends that you can't help but cheer for. A great read for Science Week as well!
24th January '19
JFiglet read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
This booked sucked you into another reality and you didn't want to put the book down until it was finished. The characters are brave and courageous, who tried to stop something evil happening no matter what. This was a great adventure and an exciting read. The start of each chapter has a spiders web, but it doesn't have any other pictures. The front cover makes you want to read the book - it's interesting and has shiny gold on. This book is suitable for both boys and girls, but it's probably got more appeal to girls as the main character is a girl. The spider in this book is a very friendly pet taranchula who wouldn't hurt a fly, so if you don't like spiders, don't let it put you off. This book is suitable for 9 to 12 year olds. I would love to read another book by Sinead O'Hart having read this one. 
24th January '19
I read it myself (an adult) , to Callum2010 aged 8 aged 8 & to Gymnastjay aged 6 aged 6
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
This book entices you with its dazzling front cover full of sparkles. Myself and my boys were intrigued and I can’t wait to share with my class. We finished it very quickly as we just couldn’t wait to find out find out what was going to happen next, the nail biting moments had us hooked! It’s a definite page turner and the prologue has you hooked in an instant.  The main character is called Tess; she is fiercely brave and full of curiosity. Raised in an orphanage, she then has to face challenges whereby she needs to leave her home and friends.  
5th February '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
This book was such an engaging and enjoyable read! Tess and Violet’s adventure has me hooked from the very beginning! I loved that Tess is a feisty, strong and clever protagonist and that throughout the story, her point of view is so honest and relatable. Couldn’t put this down! The plot is so clever, with many twists, turns, cliff hangers and ‘Ahh’ moments. I have read the opening to my Y6 class and they are dying to take it home to read! I could see this story really enticing reluctant readers who love adventure and a hint of magic 
1st May '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
This gorgeously mysterious and imaginative story takes the concept of communicating and travelling between Parallel universes and spins it into a mystery adventure with such a perfect vintage 1930s and 1940s feel you can almost taste it.
The emotional heart of this story is compelling. I loved the way O’Hart twists the little orphan trope and instead of Miss Hannigan type vileness we see a genuine love and affection and a fierce parental emotion from the two women who run the foundling home.
It’s got a strange portentous feel as whilst it’s set in 1941 within the world Tess lives there’s no World War II/ The Emergency I loved the creativity of that and the way the world building is slipped in with snatches of newspapers or conversations rather than information dumps-
Overall, The Star Spun Web is a fantastic adventure story that appeals on several levels and has a universal appeal in its gumption and imagination.
18th March '19
I read it to JJ aged 8 aged 8 & to Li aged 8 aged 8
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
LOVED this book!  a Magical story to keep the reader engrossed until the end! My son found this a little tricky to read as the print is quite small but apart from that he really enjoyed it!  a perfect read for anyone who loved the world of Harry Potter! 
6th May '19
I read it myself aged 12 aged 12
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
 This is a page turning, mind blowing and gripping novel. There is a great plotline, with fantasy and mystery entwined along the way, and based on a well thought through idea – parallel universes. 
 I would definitely recommend this book to children aged 9+, as it is easy to follow, full of suspense and overall a great read. 
13th February '19
I read it myself (an adult) & to Bobbin aged 11 aged 11
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
Another outstanding novel from Sinead O'Hart. The main character, Tess is an orphan who appears on the steps of a Foundlings home one nighr. However, it soon becomes apparent that Tess is no ordinary girl - indeed she is literally 'out of this world'. The story begins when Tess, as an older child a man comes to the home to 'claim' her. Who is he? And what does he know about Tess's true background? It is not long before the reader is whisked off into an adventure of parallel worlds, pet tarantula's, scientific experiments, and World War II.

There is much to love about this book - it's full of strong, plucky female characters - girls who support their friends and take risks to help each other and woman who will do what it take to look after their charges. There are some big scientific ideas explored, and references to history. All wrapped up in a mystery that needs to be solved, and a whirlwind adventure that ducks and dives, keeping you in the edge of your seat. 

This is a truly exciting and well written story that we could not put down, and we can't wait for the next book from this author. 
25th November '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
I applied for this book from netgalley and I am so pleased it was accepted.  I read the prologue before going to work one day and couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to come next. I brought my kindle everywhere in the hopes of a spare 5 minutes to continue reading.  It is a real page turner and the prologue hooks you in immediately. 
I loved The Eye of the North and so was totally anticipating a great story- and I was not disappointed. 
Tess is an excellent main character, full of bravery, curiosity and a special ability.  She learns of this ability from the orphanage where she has been raised and loved.  She then has to face a great challenge and leave her home and friends.  This is a turning point for her and she must think quickly and make important decisions.  She questions her world constantly and is not afraid of finding the answers, good or bad.  I love that she is spirited and takes risks to prove her theories. 

The story is one great adventure for Tess as she learns about her family, alternate worlds and saving those she loves most. Her best friend is Violet, a tarantula and I thought that was an excellent choice for the burgeoning scientist.  Not your typical pet but a wonderful choice for Tess. 

There are cliff hangers and nail biting moments and moments of wondrous joy! I couldn’t put it down and was disappointed to finish.  I wanted more...and I am hopeful that more may be on the cards? 

This is one to read and share and pass on to friends, young and old. 
23rd April '19
FourLanesReviewers read it themselves aged 7 to 11
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
I really enjoyed Star-Spun Web, it's one of those books you can't put down! The story is told from many points of view. It's about a girl called Tess from a lost and foundlings home, who is adopted by a man claiming to be her relative. She finds a strange device her father made which can teleport people to other dimensions however, many problems get in her way... I liked the characters and how Tess finds a matching person in a different dimension. I found it got very intense and a little bit scary in the end but it was a good ending. I would recommend this book for 10 years +. (Elizabeth, aged 10)
7th April '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
5 stars
I was completely engrossed from start to finish in the life of Tess de Sousa, a wonderfully realistic and determined heroine whose courage is mixed with moments of uncertainty, guilt and fear.  She is living happily in an orphanage, where she was left in very unusual circumstances, when she is discovered by a long-lost relative … so starts Tess’s adventures and startling discoveries.

Tess has rather a penchant for science and discovers a way to travel to a parallel world, in the grips of WWII, using a Star-spinner.  The villains in this book really are deliciously dark and devious!  The story builds wonderfully to a tense climax, which had me holding my breath.  For me, this story is a real testament to the power of friendship and trust, whether that be from the childhood friends Tess grew up with, her incredibly comforting (and not at all scary!) pet tarantula or the boy she meets in the parallel world.  

This is a perfectly paced, incredibly enjoyable and intelligent book, perfect for middle-grade readers – and their grown-ups!
7th March '19
OEM read it themselves aged 12 aged 12
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
4 stars
What a great book!
This books intertwines different worlds and realities together perfectly. It creates so much excitement and starts up your imagination, (what if there is another dimension out there?)
The book is so gripping it is hard to put down!
It has elements of fantasy, history, action and most of all: adventure ! 
I really recommend this book to anyone that likes Harry Potter, The Uncommoners series or a really good read.
3rd February '19
I read it to LukeJoe aged 7 aged 7
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
3 stars
We started this book, but haven't finished it.  My son lost interest and kept choosing a different book instead.  We haven't read any fantasy books before and maybe this is not his genre.  I think we will try this book again in 6 months or so.
19th February '19
I read it myself (an adult)
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
3 stars
I really liked the premise of this book and loved the character of Tess who is brave and resourceful. The early part of the book is great, Tess and the relationships with her friends and guardians are well drawn, as is the bond with her pet spider Violet. Mystery and tension build well and there are some surprising revelations to keep you hooked. However I found the second half of the book disappointing, there were just too many unanswered questions and too many things left unexplained. The villains were caricatured, their characters hardly developed at all and I was not convinced by the motivation of Mr Cleat or indeed why the other villains acted in the way they did. I think children will enjoy this if they like fantasy adventure, with a little action and mystery thrown in, just expect quite a few loose ends and not many answers!
9th February '19
Belllboo read it themselves aged 11 aged 11
The Star-spun Web 9781788950220
2 stars
I really wanted to like this book, the prologue was fantastic and the blurb sounded excellent, I just found it so slow.

Sadly I didn't even finish the book and there are not many books I don't finish.  I'm sure if I could have got over the middle bit I would have enjoyed the rest (by reading the reviews on here it does sound like it gets better) but there are so many books I want to read I didn't want to waste time plodding through a book I wasn't enjoying. 
Show More (0)
ajax loader
Featured Book
Book pages Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day
Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day

Misfit witch Willow Moss holds the fate of the magical world of Starfell in her rather unremarkable hands . . . A spellbinding new fantasy series for ages 8+

View book
Featured Book
Book pages Malamander
Malamander

Our reviewers LOVED this magical mystery set in Eerie-on-Sea, recommended for ages 8+

View book

About Sinead O'Hart

Sinead O'Hart was raised in a small house full of books in the south-east of Ireland. She has a degree in Medieval English and has had many careers (including butcher, bookseller and university lecturer) before finally following her dream of becoming a children's author. She now lives in County Meath, near Dublin, with her husband, their daughter, and an eve...

More about Sinead O'Hart

Ratings

  • (14 Reviews)
  • (1 Reviews)
  • (2 Reviews)
  • (1 Reviews)
  • (0 Reviews)