Wednesday, 8 April 2015

SERIES PROMOTION & REVIEW - CREWEL - CREWEL WORLD BY GENNIFER ALBIN


Title: Crewel
Series: Crewel World
Author: Gennifer Albin
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Macmillan Children's 
Release Date: October 2012

BLURB from Goodreads
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 and matter, Adelice is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, power and beauty, the ability to embroider the very fabric of life. It also means entering a world secrets and lethal intrigue.

But unlike the others, Adelice isn't interested in controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have and will do anything to hide her talent from the Guild. But when she slips up during her final test, her gift is identified. Now she has one hour to eat her mum's overcooked dinner. One hour to listen to her sister's school gossip and laugh at her dad's stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything is OK. And one hour to escape. Because once you become a Spinster, there's no turning back ...


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
no link available
Amazon UK


INITIAL THOUGHTS
So i'm Looking forward to a dystopian. . . . I can't stay away from my favourite genre for long! Not sure what to expect. .  . . I have had this one for a while and then sort of forgotten I had it, and rediscovered it quite recently after reading The Department Of Alterations novella, and being intrigued by the world that novella was set in. So I'm really looking forward to learning more about the dystopian world and the rules and regulations as well as meeting the characters within that world too. Will it be like The Registry Series by Shannon Stoker or The Chemical Garden by Lauren De Stefano?

MY REVIEW
I have an e-copy of this one from ages ago, that I thought I'd lost when I had a problem with my kindle, but recently managed to retrieve it somehow. I also managed to purchase an e-copy of this one from Amazon UK too. As I've done a separate feature about the various covers for this book, I will go straight into my review of the book.
The main character in this book is Adelice, at the beginning of the book she is living with her family, which consists of her mother, father and younger sister Amie. They all live together in the medium sized home they were allocated on the girls side of town in Romen, an area in Arras. The families with male children live on the boys side of town. So males and females are segregated until the age of 16 yrs old when the girls are tested to see if they have the special gift which enables her to become a Spinster and serve Arras. Adelice's parents have tried to teach her to fail the tests but it's hard for Adelice to concentrate on the da of the test and she accidentally does something which tips the testers off to the fact that she would make not just a good Spinster but a remarkable one. Adelice is trying to find a way to tell her parents about her dreadful mistake when her mum and sister Amie present her with the most beautiful birthday cake she has ever seen. It is an extravagant treat that must have cost a large amount of the rations to buy. Adelice gazes around the table at her family knowing that she has made the biggest mistake of her life and trying to figure out a way to tell her parents, when there's a loud knocking on their front door. 
I don't want to spoil what happens next as you need to read it for yourselves, so I'll say Adelice is removed from her family and transported to the Coventry she will be based at for her further testing/initial training. 
The story tell's us, the reader, all about Arras and how it was formed, and how the Spinster's and the Creweler, create, manipulate, alter, and rip through, strands of the weave. It turns out that Adelice has a very rare and special gift . . .that would be a spoiler for me to say more. This extra special gift, means that Adelice is treat differently to someof the other spinsters but though you would think a special gift would mean being cossetted, that is not the case with one of the head trainers at the Coventry called Maela. Maela does single out Adelice but certainly not in a good way, she creates an incident that immediately puts her at odd's with one of the other Spinster's named Pryana, the very one Adelice had made the initial tentative steps towards a potential best friend relationship with. The incident Maela orchestrates haunts Adelice throughout the book.
Though Adelice is snatched from her family she cannot forget them and asks various people she comes into contact with about them, but no one seems to dare or want to tell her the whole truth, though it is agreed her father dies the night she was snatched, and her sister, Amie was "re-woven". Adelice receives continual conflicting hints about what happened to her mother. Adelice may not have friends within the other Spinster's but she quickly becomes fond of her mentor, Enora and her personal aesthetician Valery. Enora and Valery are the two women that Adelice see's on a day to day basis telling what she will be doing next and what is expected of her. Adelice also ends up being friendly with two males at the Coventry which is quite a big thing for her as she has never been around males other than her own father. Josten, who seem's to be the "jack of all trades" around the Coventry, soon becomes friends with Adelice, and tries to encourage her to be a more meek character and to fly under the radar, rather than going with her gut reaction, which is to resist what is asked of her. Part of her reasoning being her parents had been against her becoming a Spinster since she was old enough to remember. The other male is Erik, he is Maela's assistant, so having his attention certainly irritates Maela and puts a large target on Adelice.
So I could honestly go on and on and on about this book. I said the following words about a book recently but they also fit how I feel about this book too, I truly enjoyed every word!
The world of Arras is perfectly presented, it's history of how it all came to be, then it's hierachy, where males may be considered the superior species yet it is a female Creweler and her Spinster's that weave the very fabric of the world they all live in. The chain of command within the different Coventries are well detailed, as well as what is expected from everyone in Arras.
Now to the characters . . .I know I've wrote loads but I absolutely have to tell you what I thought about some of the characters. I loved Adelice, the main character of the book, she is brave, yet is learning how to hide her true feelings to avoid the people she's loves being hurt to make her "toe the line". I also love the older character and the Creweler at the Coventry where Adelice is based, her name is Loricel. Loricel is not as interested in staying youthful forever, in fact at times she seem's to be tired of her life. Loricel is really the most powerful woman in Arras as only she can weave without a loom. Loricel can pull strands from the scenery and air around her and create other weaves from it. (It's described much better than this in the book). I admit to being uncertain of the trustworthiness of Enora, and perhaps a little suspicious of Valery, could Adelice confide in these women? Or would they report everything she say's to Maela, and in turn those that run their very society? As for characters I was totally unsure/kind of disliked Cormac instantly, his cold harshness towards Adelice's family but then at the same time he answered some of her burning questions that he didn't really have to was that a kindness or just a way of gauging her feelings about those people close to her that he could use as leverage to gain her co-operation. I imagine Cormac as looking and being like the character from the Hunger Games, Haymitch Abernathy. A guy that looks like Woody Harrelson is what I visualise when I think about his character. My feelings about Erik were on a literal rollercoaster, sometimes I liked him I thought he was trying to care for Adelice and other times it felt like he was almost "pushing her under the bus". To finish on a good point, I'll add I loved the character of Josten, his back story had me in tears and then later on when Adelice makes her discovery . . wow. . . I mean what is happening? . . .Then that mahoosive shocker that takes place at the very end of the book. . . What a cliff-hanger!!! and the next books are not out in separate ebooks yet!
Ooo I also want to add that I love the name of the series as I'd say it works extremely well for the book, representing the occupation of Creweler, and if spelt differently it embodies the feeling of the world of Arras around Adelice, that it is a "cruel" world.
So did I enjoy the book? Can't you tell how I have babbled and babbled on about it? lol. I loved this book, was super addicted to reading it, I feel like I could write about it at least three times more than I have above in this review. I loved it.
Would I recommend the book? Yes. I've already being nagging . .I mean heavily recommending my daughter read the book so that I have some one to talk about it to!
Would I want to read another book in the series? I already have, I read "The Department Of Alterations" novella, and I really, really want to read all the other books and novella's in this series so much.
Would I want to read other books by this author? I would always check out any book written by this author as I enjoyed her writing and the creating of the world of Arras very much.

REST OF THE SERIES SO FAR

Title: Altered
Series: Crewel World
Author: Gennifer Albin
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Macmillan Children's 
Release Date: October 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.


Goodreads Link


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon UK
not available


Title: Unraveled
Series: Crewel World
Author: Gennifer Albin
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Macmillan Children's 
Release Date: October 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Autonomous. Independent. Dangerous. They tried to control her. Now she’ll destroy them.

Things have changed behind the walls of the Coventry and new threats lurk in its twisted corridors. When Adelice returns to Arras, she quickly learns that something rotten has taken hold of the world and Cormac Patton needs her to help him reestablish order. However, peace comes at a terrible price. As the Guild manipulates the citizens of Arras, Adelice discovers that she’s not alone, and she must let go of her past to fight for mankind’s future. She will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.


PURCHASE LINKS



THE TRILOGY ~ BIND UP

Title: Crewel The Trilogy Bind Up
Series: Crewel World
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Macmillan Children's
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
Release Date: January 2015

BLURB from Amazon

Crewel, Altered, Unravelled
Gifted with the ability to weave time and matter, sixteen-year-old Adelice is exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. But when Adelice reaches the Guild, she uncovers a world of deadly intrigue. All is not as it seems, even the very fabric of Arras itself . . .
Adelice manages to escape from Arras but, amid the splendid ruins of Earth, she discovers how dangerous freedom can be. And when she finally returns to Arras, she finds that peace comes at a terrible price. Adelice will have to choose between an unimaginable alliance and a deadly war that could destroy everyone she loves.

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US
no link available
Amazon UK


THE NOVELLA'S



Title: The Cypress Project
Series: Crewel World 0.1
Author: Gennifer Albin

BLURB from Goodreads
Lucy Price spends her day much like other 16 year-old girls in wartime America: praying that her brother comes back from the front and hoping the war ends quickly. But as violence ravages the world, the end never seems in sight. All Lucy can do is wait and tend to her victory garden while her mother does her part at the ammunition factory in town. That is until the Department of Defense appears on her doorstep telling her she could end the fighting if she’ll join The Cypress Project. 

When Joshua O’Donnell’s father packs him off to Yale, forbidding him to enlist, he hopes his son’s brains will keep him off the battlefield. But Joshua’s knack for quantum mechanics draws attentions from his professor, a genius in the field of experimental science, who is working on technology that could end World War Two. Promised a nonviolent end to the war effort, Joshua can hardly say no to helping The Cypress Project. 

The war has made Howard Patton an even richer man. Son of railroad tycoon Randolph Patton, Howard was a millionaire before he was born, but with a war on, trains are more important than ever. It’s good business and Howard isn’t eager to see it end until the government approaches him with a proposal: fund the technology that could end the war and receive power beyond his imagination. But when Howard discovers the true nature of The Cypress Project, he realizes his real remuneration is the one thing that his money can’t buy. 

Completing The Cypress Project will force them all to make choices between love, destiny and freedom, but as the secrets of the experiment are revealed, each must decide between the bloody war being waged on the world’s soil and a deception that could change the course of humanity.


Goodreads Link


Title: The Department Of Alterations
Series: Crewel World 0.5
Author: Gennifer Albin

BLURB from Goodreads
In a world woven of secrets, a woman seeks a back-alley tailor for a sinister procedure, but she can't escape from her own tangled web of lies.

The women of Arras are expected to fall into assigned roles, serve as loving wives, and provide healthy children into the world's tapestry. But perfection comes at a price and not even the looms of Arras can manipulate away every problem in the fabric of life. Something Karoline Swander knows all too well. She has a respectable job, an important husband, and she's about to commit treason.


Goodreads Link


Title: The Girl In The High Tower
Series: Crewel World
Author: Gennifer Albin

BLURB from Goodreads
In Arras time and space can be manipulated—and so can people. Beautiful Spinsters work day and night in four coventries to ensure a perfect world, but above them all, at the top of the high tower, works the Creweler. Until the Creweler makes a decision to help a young girl escape. Now bound by the strands of the universe, trapped between her memories and mistakes, subject to brutal experiments, Loricel has one more impossible decision to make. The Girl in the High Tower is an original short story set in Gennifer Albin’s Crewel World. The final book in the series, UNRAVELED, is available October 7th.

Goodreads Link


THE COVER QUESTION

Which is YOUR favourite?

                                            A                               B                       C                         

I'd have to say I like all the covers pictured above to varying degrees and differing reasons. All the covers have a representation of the female character, Adelice on the them which I do like, from the haunting green eyes of Cover C, to Cover B's, aerial view of Adelice and finally the kind of profile type view of Adelice on Cover A. 

Cover A - Features the main character Adelice pictured within an hour glass, rather like an old fashioned egg timer.  It shows the large landscape view of the Coventry building in the bottom half of the hourglass.  The hourglass/egg timer is quite relevant as at times within in the book Adelice is running out of time or up against time slipping away from her. As well as one of the main element of the book being the weaving of time. I do like the deep fuschia colour of the cover, my daughter (most of you know her from Rai29BookReadNReview, but, Rachel is also a fully qualified & insured nail technician, running her own business based at our home. I thought I should explain my possible references to Nail enhancement shades (lol) as we do tend to talk to one another in terms of Professional Gel/Gel Polish/Acrylic Shades) compares it to a professional CND shade called "Sultry Sunset".

Cover B - Features an aerial view of Adelice, and also depicts the different weaves that make up what you would see in the Crewel World. The pretty coloured strands of the weave are really highlighted on this cover and  really makes you think of what the weave must look like to Adelice. When you have read the book this cover is even more amazing to look at, as you imagine looking at the world and seeing through the eyes of Adelice. I like the swirly font of the title too which fits in with the era and setting of the book and the special functions and parties that Adelice has to attend as part of her duties. I love the colours of the cover, that give a very pretty, delicate and airy feel to it.

Cover C -  Features a full on face/portrait of Adelice's face, with her red hair and bright green eyes. Adelice has a fairly solemn look on face which upon reading the book you learn why and totally understand her expression too. This cover also features the green strands of the weave that Adelice see's all around her. Upon reading you will learn about the different shades of the weave and their representations.

So if I had to pick a favourite cover, which would I choose?  B I love the delicate feel to the cover and the representation of the colours and strands of the weave. I feel cover B truly fits the story of the book and makes you feel even more part of the story. when looking at the cover you are being shown how the world around Adelice looks to her.

So which is YOUR favourite?

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