Sunday, 9 December 2012


Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Sixteen-year-old Adelice is a Spinster. She can weave time and matter. But no one knows just how talented she is. Guild Ambassador Cormac Patton has taken a shine to her. The Guild demands loyalty...even in love. So Adelice's handsome, mysterious valet Jost pses a dangerous threat to her place at the Coventry. Everyone at the Guild has their secrets. But Adelice is about to unravel the deadliest one of all, a sinister truth that could destroy reality as she knows it...

Is it just me or does that description (taken from the blurb) sound like an utter mess? Not necessarily in a bad way, in a sinister and intriguing sort of way. Except the book turned out to be pretty straightforward, pretty standard dystopian fare. I know a lot of people are praising the creativity and originality of the weaving concept, but that was actually the biggest problem for me with this book. I couldn't visualise it. Maybe I skipped over an important detail, but I couldn't decide whether the weave was like actually threads when it was on a loom, or more like sparkly magic stuff. And every time I got to a part where weaving was involved, my brain would stop me and remind me that I didn't fully understand what was happening. This made it really difficult for me to get drawn into the story and as a result, I didn't really enjoy it.

Other than the weaving stuff, the book reads like so many others. Take The Hunger Games, for example. They take Katniss, a girl from a deprived background and give her lots of nice things, feed her up and make her pretty, then make her do terrible things. That is this book in a nutshell. I mean, sure, here there is a ridiculous and implausible "love" web, something that's hinted at in The Hunger Games, but Crewel...well, it was just ridiculous to me.

It's also very much a first-in-a-trilogy book, by which I mean that there isn't a proper story structure. There's no real beginning, middle or end. Stuff happens, but it just all feels like setting up for later. In the last couple of chapters, there's a sudden rush to reveal a bunch of things, presumably to make me buy the second book, but I was beyond caring at that point. Those revelations should have been knitted into the story, drip fed to me to keep me intrigued, but it really did all happen at the very end.

I know I have a low tolerance for first books in trilogies, but this book was really disappointing for me. I thought it was going to be something a bit different, but really, I feel like I've already read it several times over with different names plugged in. Which is a shame. Here's hoping the rest of the books in my to-read list are a bit more exciting!

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