Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Apocalypsies Love! Book Review + Giveaway: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

Adelice lives in the world of Arras, where Spinsters weave time with matter. Though she tries to hide her talent, Alelice slips up during her testing and is taken from her family to a Coventry to serve as a Spinster.

I adored the worldbuilding of CREWEL. To take such a fantastic concept (everything that exists is woven into the tapestry of life - and can also be unwoven and restitched) and make it so tangible to the reader is an amazing feat. The world of Arras is very Mad Men-esque, with its fancy clothes, political maneuverings, men-dominated society and constant alcohol consumption - but is also very dystopian.  Control is of the utmost importance, and to gain it, the Guild will use anyone and everyone as pawns to prove their points.  Whole sections of the weave of Arras are ripped (wiped out without a trace) just because the leaders feel like it.  Inhabitants are reset after such changes so that, for example, if one of your children is taken from you, you might be rewoven to believe that this child never existed at all. How very creepy!

Because Arras is such a different society, the characters often act in a way that would be puzzling in our world but is (likely) consistent to theirs. For example, Adelice has never been around boys (whole neighborhood are segregated to be girl-only or boy-only and families can only have boys or girls) and the idea of a purity code (Spinsters cannot have sex or they lose their powers) has been drilled into her. Once in the Coventry, Adelice promptly gets school-girl crushes on the only two young males who pay attention to her, setting up a love triangle that she tries to hide from everyone. This leads to Adelice discovering she has the power to Warp time (freezing moments around her so she can make-out without getting caught). It also leads to her acting irrationally (to my non-Arras eyes) in several instances, e.g. being insanely jealous of her suitor's former love life despite knowing him only briefly - oh and after getting some side action herself with her other suitor.  Those are some double standards you've got going there, Adelice ;)

After the BANG ending of CREWEL, I'm interested to see where the sequel goes.

And because Gennifer is an Apocalypsie (Debut Author 2012), we also get an Apoc Love interview to discover what Gennifer loves most about her own creation!

What is your favorite scene in the book?
I have to admit there is a kissing scene I'm rather fond of. One agent said it was the best kissing scene she'd ever read. Romance is not a huge element of Crewel, but I hope the scenes that include it pack some punch.

What is your favorite line in the book?
“Don’t worry. It’s a death-threat thing.”

What setting was most fun to write?
The loom rooms, because it was tricky to get right - and I'm still not sure I did get it - but I think the looms and how they function, what they do and look like were my most ambitious writing in the novel.

Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why?
I think Cormac Patton could have his own sci-fi Mad Men spin-off. I'd love to see how things work in his head.

What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
I have to say that getting to meet people who've read my book just because they wanted to is my favorite part. It's lovely to hear your sales and marketing people like the book, it's wholly different to hear that from a reader.

Thanks Gennifer!

CREWEL doesn't come out until October 16, 2012, but I have one ARC to give away to today to a reader anywhere in the world. Enter via this form by Sept 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm CST. Find out more about the book at the author's website.

See index of all dystopian reviews at Presenting Lenore

FTC disclosure: Review copy from BEA 2012


Liviania said...

I really enjoyed this one! Like you said, the worldbuilding is amazing.

Christina said...

Excellent review as always! Definitely agree on the world building. Also on the jealousy. ;)

A Cormac Mad-Men-esque spin off sounds horrifying...and BRILLIANT.

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

I was wondering if she'd pull off the world sounds like she certainly did. Fantastic review

Zibilee said...

This fictional world sounds so intricate and interesting. It sounds like there is incredible worldbuilding in this book. You gave it a great review as well, by the way!

Natalie Aguirre said...

So excited for Gen. I have an ARC too and loved the world building and story. I'll let someone else win the ARC.

Jessy said...

That's hilarious she stops time to make out! What a curious girl!

ArtemisG said...

The world of CREWEL sounds very interesting. Thank you for the giveaway!

Ironic Lady (BookSpark) said...

Mad Men reference! *automatic follower love*
The world of Crewel sounds truly unique, and I'm glad the author was able to pull it off. The rewiring of the brain sounds familiar - I read an indie book very recently (Stitch by Samantha Durante) that included this in the plotline. It was so much fun to read!

Ana @ BookSpark

Bookish in a Box said...

I'm not a big fan of love triangles, but the world building and premise you describe sound wonderful and very unique. I like the blend of dystopian and 1950s.

M.A.D. said...

It's amazing to see how the genre of YA books keeps growing and evolving! LOVE the creative idea of *weaving* time and matter!! Crewel is definitely something I'd enjoy reading :)