Crewel was on my radar for some time before I was lucky enough to win an ARC, and even now that I've finished it, it's one of those rare books that I wish I had the time to re-read once everything has settled a bit after reading the final page. Crewel is a richly woven tapestry - a story of hope, obedience, fear, secrets, and revolution. Between the underlying struggles between the male dominated society, and the females who want power, mixed in with the science-fiction elements, and the beautiful, if fleeting romance that develops, there is something for everyone in Gennifer Albin's debut novel.
Led by a fantastically self-aware heroine, Adelice, Crewl isn't like anything I've ever read before. Living in a segregated community, Adelice was taught to carefully hide her abilities, and it's led to her becoming sheltered. But there's also a LOT of strength in this girl, strength and grit that she shows throughout Crewel. I applauded when Adelice stood up for herself, and I for one cannot wait to see who she becomes in the sequel. In a cast of ruthless characters, like power-hungry Maela and Ambassador Cormac Patton, everyone has their own agenda, but Adelice holds her own.
Her innocence is definitely stripped away, but in the wake of that, we see a lovely romance burgeoning between Adelice and one of my other favorite characters. And no, I won't tell you who - but trust me, you will WANT to find out for yourself because although there was a small hint of a love triangle, it was SO clear to me who Adelice belongs with. Both of the guys that come to care for Adelice are perfectly swoon-worthy in different ways, but the particular one I fell for really swept me off my feet. He and Adelice moved a little too fast for my taste, but found their own unique way to spend a good deal of time together getting closer.
Crewel touched me on many levels. I found reasons to laugh and reasons to cry. The actual premise is only barely touched on in the synopsis - there's a great deal more going on that I discovered as I read. Gennifer Albin brings several layers to the story, beyond the surface description of what the Spinsters do. We learned along with Adelice, and discovered the various agendas and politics behind the scenes - and that not everyone called to serve lives a glamorous life. Albin cleverly reveals just enough to spin my head around as I feverishly turned the pages, needing MORE - more answers, more of these characters. By the time I finished Crewel, I realized the wait for the sequel is going to be an extremely long one, during which I'll probably need to buy my own copy of Crewel to re-read to pass the time!