I joined the Dystopia Reading Challenge, hosted by Blog of the Erised, almost a month ago and I had yet to post a review for this challenge. OK, it was not for lack of trying. I read two books in the past month that I thought would work, but then I was unsure about whether they truly fit and so I decided to not post them. Who knows, maybe I should have… but alas it is too late now.
So I tried really hard to find a book that would fit so that I could at least get a book review posted. The book I chose was Crewel (Crewel World #1, by Gennifer Albin. I will warn you that there are spoilers. I tried to write the review without spoilers and it seriously made my head hurt, because I found that I really did not have much to comment on without giving something away. If you want my review spoiler-free check out my Goodreads review.
The Basic Premise
Well, the basic premise is that the world of Arras is basically made up of threads of matter and time. It is like a work of Crewel (if you are like me and did not know what that was… see picture below).
The world is ruled by a guild of 12, all men, who keep peace through providing all the people with food, jobs, families, and safety through manipulating those threads through the use of “spinsters”. Spinsters are women who can see the threads (of time and matter) and use a loom to adjust the world by adding natural elements into the landscape, removing the weak or maladjusted people from the world, and creating weather. Since the world is created and not natural, the weather patterns and reproduction are created, then consequently life very predictable and heavily controlled.
What I Liked
I liked the main character, Adelice, and Jost. I especially liked when Jost shared a bit about his past and I liked Adelice’s chemistry with him. She had spunk and tenacity. She is kind of nieve, but that does not make her all that trusting which I found to be an interesting quality. As much as I liked Adelice, I found that she also could be a bit whiny and self-absorbed. She just seemed to be stuck sometimes and could not see the forest through the trees, unless she was hit on the head with something or some idea by another character. In the end, I could not help, but root for this pair and hope that they could find a way to be together.
I also found the concept, their world, kind of interesting. The world as a piece of tapestry, huh? Although I could see that this concept could be a little hard for some people to find believable. In fact, I really struggled with trying to envision the world which was above the earth in a sky, but maybe visible, and maybe in another dimension. The mining from below and falling through the darkness made it challenging to visualize the world that was created.
What I Did Not Like
Honestly, I really did not get the rules to their world. If it is supposed to be a league of 12 nations then how did they all decide to make the world so male dominated. Was there not a single woman world leader in the future or am I to believe that the women leaders were the ones that were left on earth fighting until the death? Did they just pull the women leaders with the help of the spinsters? Seriously, why did the spinsters not realize that they had a lot of power in their hands until Adelice got there? Couldn’t a renegade spinster or even Loricel just pull the threads of the male leaders?
Pryana’s reaction to having her sister and her sister’s school obliterated was a bit of an overreaction as well. I get that she was mad at her for not following the instruction and for what happened after, but really she did not blame Maela for what happened at all. It seemed a bit far-fetched that she could not see how the punishment did not fit the crime and did not blame Maela at all. I find it hard to believe that this girl was so clueless that she could not see herself being played?
Another thing that I did not get was how Jost and Erik managed to get into the compound and stay in the compound, especially with Jost’s background. They have all this technology and yet they don’t do simple background checks?
One Word to Describe the Book
I liked it. I did not love it though. It is a series and so the question is… will I go on to read the next book? I am thinking I will. I do want to see what happens next. I will say that the sequel has the makings to be pretty interesting and hopefully answer some questions about what happened to the earth. I am wondering if we will get to meet all those women world leaders that were left behind.
Dystopia Reading Challenge: 1/6