Crewel (Crewel World #1) by Gennifer Albin, Book Review

 Goodreads Blurb

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.

My Review

This book doesn’t really inspire me to write a review but because it’s such a mixed bag I feel I must.

Rating: 2.5* on merit. (Wish I could give it a higher rating  because I don’t feel a 2* would be fair as there is a lot of good work in this book, but in good faith I can’t give it a 3*.)

I wanted to like this book and there were things about it that I did like. The writing is good and I can’t criticize Albin’s imagination. Where the problem starts for me is with her ability to clearly express what she is seeing inside her head. 

I once had a maths teacher who was extremely gifted when it came to understanding mathematical concepts, but her teaching ability was non-existent. In a matter of months I went from someone who loved maths and was competent at it to someone who struggled to the point of hating maths. If you can’t convey what’s inside you in a way where others can connect with it then it loses it’s magic, it’s power. That’s how this book made me feel. Albin had a wonderful idea with Crewel, full of originality and potential, but somewhere between concept and the page, the clarity was lost in transition.

The main character, Adelice, I found to be bland for want of a better word, and her two cohorts were much the same, resulting in my feelings of indifference towards them. The antagonists where actually much more interesting characters, more believable, more rounded.

My other major issue with this book was the dead air in the middle section of the book. I appreciate that Albin was trying to give a real insight into what Adelice’s life with the Spinsters was like but it needed more grit. There wasn’t much to get my teeth into; it was pleasant enough but uninspiring and that frustrated me because I was actually interested in the possibilities of what might have happened.

The end, however, was what I’d wished for throughout the book, and certainly went some way to appeasing my earlier frustrations. There was some clarity, finally, some action and some interesting, if not totally unexpected, revelations. Sadly, it was too little, too late to change my overall opinion of this book, though I may now be tempted to read the next one…


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