Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Chapters 1-5 here
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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.
I have to think long and hard on the cauldron rating I want to give CREWEL by Gennifer Albin because it's more than what I expected it to be but I still found it lacking on some points. Let me start with the story.
What got me interested in CREWEL is it's similarity to the proverbial loom that the Fates are weaving. I personally think that this is a great concept to build a story on because Fate and Destiny is very universal and will certainly appeal to a lot of readers. Plug in a Dystopian setting with teens holding the future of the world and mankind in their hands and you got a bestseller waiting in the wings. As far as the setting is concerned, GAlbin didn't disappoint, it's Dystopia she promised and it's Dystopia that I got. Arras is run and ruled by an oligarchy and crucial to the balance of power are the Spinsters for they are the ones responsible in maintaining Arras while the Guild of Twelve ensures "peace".
The Creweler helps the Guild harvest raw materials for the weave of Aarras, and she guides our own work.
The world GAlbin created is truly fascinating and scary in a way. This is a place where people don't really have any control over their lives, one slight dissension and a person or a town can easily be wiped out, their memories scrubbed clean and family is nothing more than a genetic technicality, one tug and pull of the weave and we can all disappear. We can all be remapped to a different person in a span of hours and we won't know any different. Suffice to say that the myth GAlbin created is air tight and thoroughly explained, every possible question we might have about what Arras is has been answered in full, it's obvious she really built this world carefully and gave it a lot of thought.
Adelice Lewys is everything I like about heroines: she's feisty, cunning, beautiful, vulnerable and vengeful. She's the next Creweler and the weight of the world lies on her shoulders but it's so hard for her to lend her loyalty to the Guild when they killed her father, remapped her sister and hid her mother from them. And where there's an impressionable female around, the boys are not far behind. Josten Bell and Erik are opposite sides of the coin and like most love triangles, they each appeal to Adelice in different ways. These boys didn't impress me much however GAlbin threw a monkey wrench towards the end which made things extra juicy and I wonder how these three are going to cope with their future circumstances after being forcibly "banished" to the ends of the world.
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.What got my attention was the dirty old man, Ambassador Cormac Patton (in my head I imagine him as Kevin Spacey), he is everything we despise about politicians and I find it disgusting that he is forcing sixteen-year-old Adelice to marry him and have kids. I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that part, that proposal alone should be considered as sexual assault regardless if it happened in the future, right? And to balance a strong female lead, there's a spiteful and jealous villainess around. So the expected cast of characters are complete.
There's nothing wrong about CREWEL but aside from the unique plot, the story in essence didn't really have anything I haven't read yet. AGalbin went with the formula, executed it well and gave us a beautiful story, this will surely get good ratings and YA readers, young and old, will get themselves copies of this book. But despite the mild predictability, I really like how the story ended and I am hoping that GAlbin is just warming up and has set her sights in giving us a jaw dropping story in Crewel 2.