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I Belong

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Title: Crewel

Author: Gennifer Albin

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Series: Crewel World (Book 1)

Publication Date: October 16, 2012

Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 0374316414 (MacTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0374316419 (MacTeen)

Reviewed by: Michelle


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.

Quick & Dirty: An imaginative world like no other, Crewel will leave you wanting more.

Opening Sentence: They came in the night.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Ginifer Albin’s Crewel is amazingly unique. I would categorize Crewel as a dystopian fantasy. Albin blurs the line of genres and writes this fantastic tale, one that I have become obsessed with. From the details, to the story plot, and many world-building components, I have quickly become a fan of the author and her story. Crewel is original and ingenious! Oh, I must not forget about the cover. It’s gorgeous and it definitely has to be added in my collection.

Crewel follows the life in Arras, a world filled with talent and magic, and also home to Adelice Lewys. In Arras, the elite is classified as Spinsters, manipulating the looms of time, space, and matter. Only a select few are chosen for the screening to become a Spinster, and even fewer continue to become a Spinster. Weaving threads through the loom is magic and talent in itself, allowing it sustain Arras. But along with every seemingly perfect society, there is distrust and disorder, and Adelice has found herself right in the middle.

Adelice Lewys is a great character. She has so many beliefs and morals that she follows. Adelice can weave time and matter without a loom. As far as she knows, this is unheard of. Going through training has already proven her talent, as  well as gather the attention of many high-level people. But all of the success that is within reach doesn’t phase Adelice. Instead, she questions the integrity of the Spinsters’ actions and challenges the reasons of which things are done.

The Guild of Spinsters is a character all in itself. The hierarchy, the politics, and the camaraderie all play a role in Crewel. Each action of a character has a distinct reaction, causing a domino effect of sorts. There are elements of romance, one that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Please let me clarify. I am never a fan of love triangles, and Crewel has a mild one. Josten and Erik both vie for the top spot, and it’s really hard to choose just one. Both described equally gorgeous and amazing in their own way. Wait until you read about them, you’ll want a piece of both of them.

It’s amazing to see how each page reveals something new. It’s also mind-boggling to see a glimpse inside Albin’s mind. There’s a utopian sense of perfection and purity, where genders are separated, females are revered, and the elite hold all the power. Albin creates levels of depth in her story, adding science fiction elements mixed with a little bit of fantasy.

While I am gushing for most of this book, I did find a few things that I didn’t necessarily like. I sometimes felt that Adelice needed a more solid base. She is a strong character, but I felt that there were things missing , things that would have answered for some of her shortcomings. I also felt like the evils of the world weren’t evil or sinister enough. There were a few awesome moments of terror, but not enough to cower in the corner.  And while these are mostly personal taste items, I still highly urge you to read Crewel.

Notable Scene:

She smiles again, but it is one of polished venom, not actual mirth. “Perhaps you can go to your training classes and find out, instead of wasting away in a cell.”

She leaves me here to ponder this, but deep down I know that they aren’t going to answer the kinds of questions I want to ask. Enora had genuinely not known the answer when I asked her the same question during our first meeting. But why hide what really happens if ripping is such an integral part of our jobs?

Unless the ripped could be saved.

Crewel World Series:

1. Crewel

FTC Advisory: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux provided me with a copy of Crewel.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

  1. Kristin@Blood,Sweat and BooksNo Gravatar

    Great review! I think your absolutely spot on saying the world wasn’t Evil enough. I think if things had been kicked up a notch it would of made the book that much better. I don’t know if the Author was intentionally playing it safe to keep it palatable to a YA audience but it felt a bit lacking in that department for my tastes.

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