Saturday, January 4, 2014

Behind the Times Review: Crewel, by Gina

Edition: eBook (Overdrive/Library)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Goodreads: Crewel
Release Date: October 16, 2012

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.

This is an older book, so I'll spare you my version of a summary and jump right into my opinion of the book: I really, really, really disliked it. The writing was inconsistent. The main character is supposed to be a Strong-Willed Strong Female and comes across as an unintelligent brat. And, in all honesty, you could remove her completely from the narrative and just let the story be what it's really about - Ambassador Cormac's rise to power through manipulation of everyone around him. This is not a female-focused book, despite the fact that the main character is a female. Everything plot device in this book further's Cormac's story, not Adelice's - until the last chapter when Adelice grows a spine and a brain and suddenly figures out a way to escape Arras. 

Let's be honest here, when talking about Adelice - mouthy does not equal (!=, for my programmer fans) smart. Adelice is given plenty of advice to shut up and observe the situation she's in before acting out and, instead, she goes about pissing everybody off and acting like it's okay because she just can't help herself. She has no control over herself because, ultimately, Adelice just cares about Adelice. As much as she talks about want to protect her sister and stop Cormac, her actions show that she really just wants to be the center of attention. 

This is not a series I intend to finish. I gave it two stars on Goodreads only because the idea of the world is so damn interesting. In the hands of a better writer, the world could have flourished - instead, it's shallow, like the characters.

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