Thursday, October 25, 2012

ARC Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Author: Gennifer Albin
Publication: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (October 16, 2012)

Description: What a tangled world she weaves...

For generations, Spinsters have been called by Arras’s Manipulation Services to work the looms and determine what people eat, where they live, how many children they have, and even when they die. Gifted with the rare ability to weave time with matter, Adelice is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in 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 once you become a Spinster, there is no turning back. Now caught in a web of lies and intrigue, Adelice must decide who to trust: her kind mentor, Enora; the handsome and mysterious valet Jost; or the charismatic Guild ambassador Cormac Patton. They each have secrets, but Adelice is about to unravel the deadliest one of all, a sinister truth that could destroy reality as she knows it.

In a powerful and original debut about a world where the Guild decides everything, one extraordinary girl dares to defy the power of men and the boundaries of love.

My Thoughts: Readers looking for another dystopia with a feisty but not foolhardy heroine will find much to enjoy in this beginning of a new trilogy. Adelice showed a gift for weaving matter and time from a young age but her parents have been teaching her how to conceal the gift when she is tested. Unfortunately, she loses focus for a bit and reveals much more than she should have to the testers. They come for her in the night. And, when her parents attempt to escape, her father is killed and her mother and sister's fate is not known.

Adelice is swept into the world of the Spinsters and quickly get embroiled in a number of plots. She doesn't know who she can trust. It seems that everyone from the Cormac Patton, the Coventry Ambassador for the Guild of Twelve, to her mentor Enora have hidden agendas and buried secrets. She also gains almost instant enemies in Maela, a Spinster who is hungry for power and privilege, and Pryana, another new Spinster, who is jealous of what she perceives as Adelice's privileges. Then there are the two young men in the story - Erik who seems to be Maela's boy toy, and Jost who is the head valet for the compound.

Adelice learns startling things about her world from Loricel who is the most powerful Spinster and known as the Creweler. She is surprised and dismayed to learn that she is the only one who has the power to be the next Creweler. Her hatred for the Guild and for the life that is planned for her has her looking for a way out but finding a place to go seems impossible.

This story is a portrayal of the adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely and that a pretty outside can hide unimaginable rot and evil inside. I look forward to reading the next books in this trilogy and am very eager for the second book RIGHT NOW because, although our heroine and her companions are out of immediate danger, they have entered a world they know nothing about.

I look forward to sharing this story with my students. I think that they will be glad to get to know Adelice and her companions.

Favorite Quote:
"The Guild made an example of the town." Jost's voice fades, and I lean in to hear him. "They ripped out our sisters, our mothers, our daughters..."

"Your wives," I added, and he nodded.

His head drops and the distance between us is gone. When he speaks again, his words are broken. "I saw it. You have no idea, Adelice. What it's like to see that."
I received the ARC from Macmillan in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

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