I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Crewel by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #1
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on October 16th 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Sci-fi
Source: the Publisher
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 to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. 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 used her hidden talent for a moment. 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 jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because tonight, they’ll come for her.
‘No one knows why some girls have the gift. There are theories, of course. That it’s passed down genetically. Or that girls with an open mind can see the weave of life around them at all times. Even that it’s a gift only given to the pure-hearted. But I know better. It’s a curse.’
In this world, everything is comprised of threads which can be altered, manipulated, or completely removed. Behavior modification can be done for unruly children or if they’re deemed a lost cause can be removed completely. If that is done then everything is reworked in order to change the complete structure of everyone’s thoughts and memories so that the child that was removed is not even remembered, even by his own parents. Even the most base things that would normally be natural: food cultivation, upcoming thunderstorms, these are all managed by the Spinsters. Only managed though.
‘Crewel work is an act of pure creation. Crewelers do more than weave the fabric of Arras. They can capture the materials to create the weave. Only they can see the weave of the raw materials. (…) The Spinsters wouldn’t have any matter to weave if it weren’t for her special gift.’
Because this world wouldn’t exist without the Creweler.
‘Day by day, I am remade, into someone else. I’m sixteen now, and I will be almost flawless forever. That thought helps me fall asleep at night, secure in my place here, but it also wakes me up trembling with nightmares.’
Their beauty routines and the description of how these women look reminded me of geisha’s. The only difference with the women in Arras is the access to renewal patches which allow them to heal wounds rapidly but also help to preserve their youth. These patches worked so well that you’re virtually unable to tell people’s true age anymore. A very sci-fi and freaky touch.
Sure, there is a slight love-triangle in the book but I’m starting to realize that my main issue with them is that there is always the guy the protagonist should obviously be going for and one that she very clearly should not be (and he’s usually a total prick). That wasn’t the case with Crewel and it was a very plausible situation in which the love triangle derived from. I actually liked both guys, one more so than the other (Jost), but they were both still well likable and weren’t total pricks. That calls for celebration I think.
I loved the twist that was thrown in at the end. Everything slowly begins to unravel (haha… pun intended) and Adelice finally realizes the enormity of the situation that she’s been forced into. The twist succeeded in not only making the entire situation crazy and eye-popping but really added a layer of realism to this ‘perfect world’.
While I had trouble grasping the concept (at first) I was still incredibly fascinated by the idea and everything ended up being explained sufficiently in my opinion. The attention to detail into every facet of this world was incredibly intricate and entirely original. I loved it. Crewel is a sci-fi world where everything can be altered with a 1984 type society where people are controlled to the nth degree. Highly recommended for dystopian fans.