Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World, #1
Publication date: October 16th 2012
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
*A copy was provided by Macmillan for review purposes*

Initial reaction:
Holy mother of giraffe balls!!!

Official review:

What. Did. I. Just. Read?


Ok, wow. Creative does not even begin to describe this formidable world that Gennifer Albin has built. Bringing in some sci-fi elements into it, the explanations of the weaving and how the whole process works simply blew me away. When it starts off it garners a lot of questions and wonderment, but as the world building progresses, we're brought into an extremely complex, incredibly well described futuristic world where everything and everyone can be manipulated by the touch of a Spinster. It can be hard to grasp, especially if you don't pay attention - this is the kind of book you have to really be alert for - and it pays off. Furthermore, Gennifer's world building is beautifully written, making it both surreal and believable. It's also menacing; piece by piece, we find out details about this world that are astonishing, bigger than anyone would have thought. It's revealed layer by layer, until you simply cannot fathom that any more mind-blowingness could come forth - then it does. The more I learned about it, the giddier I became. I love it when an author thinks outside the box; employing some sci-fi, even a bit of fantasy, to create a world that could easily become overwhelming, but instead, It becomes impressive, it becomes convincing, and heck, I think it even gave me brain cells!

Moving on to our dear Adelice. Adelice is not an especially tough protagonist. She's not weak by any means; she knows how, and when, to take a stand, fending for herself. But, she can be naive, even feel a bit underwhelming at first. Nonetheless, I, for one, enjoyed her flawed characterization. She's a simple girl in a surreal world and it makes her genuinely likeable. She goes through a believable character growth when she, like us, begins to understand just how extraordinary the world is; how things really work - inside and out. When you've been betrayed, when you go through unimaginable ordeals, you grow up. I enjoyed seeing how she realistically reacted under this pressure.

Having been brought up with a purity standard in a world where boys and girls live in separate neighbourhoods, Adelice has never been in love, or kissed a boy for that matter. So it takes her by surprise when she meets not one, but two handsome guys that are pining for her. There is a hint - just maybe a small scratch - of a love triangle, but the scratch is really only just a scratch. I fell head over heels with the romance in this book. Experiencing the "firsts" with Adelice is exhilarating, filling me with hope and lust and butterflies. And even though there is a strong romantic thread in the story, I never felt it down-right took over, nor does it take anything away from the main plot. 

I know of one person who is majorly awaiting book two. I will not be the only one either I am sure. The ending is not a hair pulling cliffhanger per say, more like an OH-EM-GEE-the-sequel-is-gonna-rock-my-face ending! Like I said, the world is given to us in layers, but so is the plot - and the more I read, the faster I needed to turn the page. l I think my Kobo sparked at one point. Point of the story?  Read it. Maybe in print copy, for your safety.

Brilliant, completely gorgeous, and exceptionally unique, Crewel is highly recommended for sci-fi and dystopian fans.

5 Smokin' Hot Espressos