There has been a deluge of dystopian YA fiction lately, and although I still LOVE it and want to read more- sometimes these worlds and stories all staThere has been a deluge of dystopian YA fiction lately, and although I still LOVE it and want to read more- sometimes these worlds and stories all start to blend together in my head. However, Crewel is a completely unique take on a fantasy futuristic world, and so different from anything else, that it really stands out.
It is based on the idea that the world around the characters is woven and created by a group of women called Spinsters, who have developed the unique power of "weaving" the world around them. Everything can be controlled on the looms from the amount of rainfall, to the growth of trees and plants, and if an area shows signs of rebellion- it can be destroyed with one rip.
For the first quarter of the book or so I was a bit confused and baffled as I struggled to get my head around the concepts in the book. The world building was sometimes a little bit complex and you need to be paying attention to understand it, but that complexity and depth of description also meant that it felt very impressive and very convincing. The whole atmosphere of the book begins to feel more dangerous and menacing as we begin to discover more about the Spinsters and their power along with main character Adelice.
Adelice has been raised in a quiet and inconspicuous sector of Arras, living a poor but happy life with her parents and her sister. Her mother had been aware of Adelice's power from an early age, and had been trying to teach Adelice to conceal it, so that when it came time to be tested- she wouldn't have to join the Spinsters. But Adelice's power is exceptionally strong, and she finds that she can weave time and matter easily- even without the loom.
I really enjoyed discovering this exceptional world along with Adelice, as she gets deeper and deeper into the heart of the power of this corrupt and dangerous world, and learns more about the truth of the Spinsters. She is a very determined and head-strong girl, and not afraid to stand up to her superior Maela when she sees something she thinks is wrong, although she is sometimes a little naive because of her sheltered upbringing.
Some of the characters seem pretty evil- the kind of bad guys who believe that they are doing what is right and good, but there is a brilliant cast of a range of different characters. One of my favourite characters is gruff servant Jost and his story, and the friendship and attraction that gradually develops between him and Adelice.
This story is imaginative and thrilling. There are subplots of love and betrayal, and I liked that you could never guess which direction the story was going to take next. Beautifully written, multi-layered and completely surprising- a must read for fans of sci-fi or dystopia.
-------------------------------------------------------- More of my reviews can be found on my blog- Always Lost in Stories
In the first book in the series I actually loved how closed off the action of this book is. Set in frightening dysBook 2 in the Chemical Garden series
In the first book in the series I actually loved how closed off the action of this book is. Set in frightening dystopian world, the focus was all on this clutch of characters trapped together in a large luxurious house.
Fever shows us a much wider picture of the society, and the extent of the despair of the outside world, as Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the house and try to make their way back to New York to hunt for Rhine's brother. Because we gradually get to find out more about this dystopian society as part of such an exciting adventure along with Rhine and Gabriel, as they see it, I actually ended up loving this book just as much as the first, but for totally different reasons.
The world outside the mansion is dangerous and hard and the people are bleak and deceitful. The first hint of civilisation they stumble across is a carnival rife with prostitutes and drugs. Unlike in book 1 which was very enclosed within the house, we see a much wider segment of society, and see news speeches that hint at darker times still to come.
The story is dangerous, harsh and moves at quite a fast pace, but they never lose the sense that they are racing against time (their own short body clocks), or that they are still being pursued by Linden's sinister father. It is a very disturbing and dramatic book, but I love the emotions that power it, and cheering on the strong-willed characters as they struggle to survive.
It is also a very clever book, with some unexpected revelations, and twists that you would never predict. I love the descriptive, lyrical prose that felt almost dreamlike (nightmarish?). It flows very easily as well, making it a real page turner, and really gripping you in this story, feeling the anxiety, confusion and fear right along with these characters.
Fever is your typical middle book in the series- advancing the story along without resolving anything, but I love this series and am looking forward to reading book 3. ...more
Book 2 in the Ashes series Either I've forgotten how gory the first book is, or this book is even more gory. It is definitely very tragic, extremely blBook 2 in the Ashes series Either I've forgotten how gory the first book is, or this book is even more gory. It is definitely very tragic, extremely bloodthirsty and harsh. Prior warning- characters will get murdered and tortured in the most horrific ways.
Alex has to be one of the toughest heroines I have ever known. She has some serious survival skills, and an unwavering determination to overcome any obstacle, whether enemy, illness or injury.
This is quite a traumatic story. Nevertheless I loved this book, and I just love this series. These character's hardships and struggle to survive, to bond together and strive to find each other again in a world gone to hell made such a compelling and emotional read for me.
Most of this book is told from different perspectives, as different characters travel their own journeys toward each other again. There are so many layers to the book, and so many turns in the story, that you never know where it's going to take you next, and it has such a compelling cast of characters that you really root for.
After THAT shocking cliffhanger ending in Ashes I was dying to get ahold of this next book, and it didn't disappoint- I was gripped. But there is another shocking and dramatic cliff-hanger, and it's a long wait to book 3!
I know now that Ilsa Bick's books are real character driven page-turners, and this author is an auto-buy for me. ...more