Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin


By Gennifer Albin

Narrated by: Amanda Dolan

Audio- Unabridged 10 hours

Publisher: AudioGO Ltd

Release Date: 10/16/12



Crewel takes place in a futuristic society where people and events are woven with strands of time by Spinsters. Spinsters are generally girls chosen by their talent at weaving by the Guild in Arras. These girls are taken from their homes and families and then reside within the Guild where they practice weaving time with matter. Everything in Arras is controlled by the Guild through the spinsters such as harvesting food, childbirth, and even when and how someone dies.

Adelice is unique in Arras society in that she is able to weave the strands of time without a loom. From when, as a child, she first discovers this ability, Adelice’s parents work fervently to teach her how to cover it up so that she is not selected by the Guild who they do not trust. When, at her testing, she is among those chosen to be come a spinster, and is singled out among the others at the Guild, Adelice finds herself not knowing who she can trust.

The audio was read by Amanda Dolan who does a fairly good job narrating this rather tedious story. At times I thought she may have went a little overboard making some of the characters sound patronizing and condescending, but for the most part I enjoyed her narration.

While Crewel certainly has an original storyline even for a dystopian, there was far too much of the society that simply pushed the bounds of believability too far for me. For example, if Adelice and the other spinsters were controlled by this sinister Guild, why didn’t they just weave things differently? It was made very clear in the story that the spinsters were the only ones powerful enough to control their reality, I don’t understand the power this Guild had over the spinsters. Also, Adelice experiences some traumatic events very early on in the story, but she seems to just kind of accept them without much emotional impact and goes about her business. She put much more thought and energy into the awkwardly contrived love triangle than she did into events that would have devastated the average teen. But then Adelice is also exceptional in EVERY way, which was yet another issue I had with the book.

For the most part, I enjoyed the writing style. I didn’t have to struggle through the audio and finished fairly quickly for a 10 hour audio. But for me, the characters were flat and lacked authenticity and the world building was confusing and left more questions than answers. The sudden ending left me feeling a bit perplexed. It just sort of cut off without any resolution at all. It wasn’t so much a cliffhanger as it simply felt unfinished.

While Crewel just wasn’t for me, there are many people who really enjoyed it. Check out Sam’s review at Realm of Fiction for another perspective.


2 out of 5 stars


Aman said...

I hate when at the end of the book you have more questions than answer >.< A lot of people liked this book, and I even pre-ordered it. Well, atleast you're honest :)

Donna said...


Thanks for stopping by! You're right, a lot of people really enjoyed this, some of my favorite bloggers and Goodreads reviewers highly recommend Crewel. I included a link at the end to one of my favorite bloggers who enjoyed it very much. Check out her review. :) It simply wasn't for me. I do hope you enjoy it more than I did!

DMS said...

I am so to hear that this book wasn't as good as you were hoping it would be! The cover is just beautiful.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

Aww sorry this wasn't for you, I do like the idea of a blending of science fiction and dystopian world.

Donna said...


The cover certainly is lovely! It's pretty common for me to dislike a book that most other people love and to love a book that most others disliked.

Donna said...


Me too Kimba! I definitely like the idea of blending genres and usually, just about anything dystopian or post-apocalyptic immediately grabs me. But where the sci-fi element worked for me in books like Across the Universe, it just didn't work for me in Crewel. Eh, sometimes it be-s like that.

Unknown said...

Oh I totally agree with your point - If the spinsters are what keeps Arras from not fading into oblivion then they sure don't act like it. I'm not sure whether I will read the next book, I just couldn't connect with Adelice & it's important that I like the main protagonist to care enough for the rest of her story.
Love the review. It is all I thought of the book but couldn't put down in words!

Sam (Realm of Fiction) said...

I'm sorry this didn't work out for you, Donna! I can understand the issues you had with it though. To a certain extent I feel the same way about the ending especially, but I am really excited about the direction the story appears to be going.

Lovely review - and thank you for linking to mine. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

Yeah, I'm struggling through this one myself. I just can't seem to get past the 20% mark. Like you said, Adelice seems too emotionally detached for my taste, there's nothing to connect with in her. Hopefully I'll make it through, but I doubt my opinion will change significantly.
Great review, Donna!

ahz1 said...

Great review, Donna. It's nice to see a different perspective of the book and I can see that some of the issues you had with the book were similar to mine. I do tend to suspend belief when I read dystopian books, just to lose myself in the book. I wonder if the audio version did not do justice to the book - I'm listening to more and more books and I find if I don't like the narrator, I don't get into the book.

Anonymous said...

This was one I had considered buying because the author was going to be at an event (NY Author Carnival) and I ended up not able to because it had not been released.

I have generally been seeing good things about it but it seems to you found it a bit like I did with The Raven Boys, were there were good elements the sudden ending (in a way that felt unfinished rather than just a cliff hanger) made the book so much less enjoyable.


Donna said...


Yes K8 I felt very similarly about The Raven Boys. It ended up being a DNF for me although I had thought to perhaps go back to it again in the future. Maybe not if it had the same kind of unfinished sudden ending. I didn't like that at all in Crewel.

Wendy Darling said...

Oh dear, I've seen so many fair to middling reviews of this book! I'm sorry this was a disappointment, Donna. The more reviews that fly by for this one, the more I think I'm better off in skipping it. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion.

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

FTC Disclaimer - I do receive some books directly from the authors or publishers for review purposes. Each review posted is my own personal opinion and any books I accept are not guaranteed a positive review. I do not receive monetary gain from reviewing those books I accept.
I include affiliate links to Amazon in my reviews and other posts. Those links will take the reader to and I do receive a small percentage of each purchase.