My review in French: http://featherandink.blogspot.fr/2012...
Crewel is kinda like Wanted meets Minority Report meets The Matrix meets....me confused! I didn't get it at first. It took me a while to imagine the "weave" and the fact that Arras doesn't only decide the fate of its inhabitants but also controls each and every area of life: weather, food, supplies, etc...
It was disconcerting to apply this theory on a metaphysical level. When I started to think about the Matrix, it made a little more sense I guess. Then, the background story threw me again. I mean...creating Arras and the 3 other cities just like it to end a war? How do you even picture this happening??? I get the why: to control people and erradicate deviant behavior. But the Guild, in charge of everything, goes way beyond simple regulation and protection of its people. They decide who lives or dies, they manipulate minds, they hide the fact that the Earth is still out there (so much time has gone by, people mostly don't remember about it) and they have established a segregated society where women are beneath men.
Make up is a precious comodity. Women either get married and become a secretary or something or demonstrates a special talent and become Spinsters. These ladies can work the weave and be part of the Guild's big scheme.
Adelice has this special talent. All of her life, her parents helped her hide it because being a Spinster means you never get to see your family ever again. There seems to be more to the story at the beginning. The parents may know more about the consequences of being a Spinster but they don't elaborate and Adelice is at a loss. Because eventually, she slips and passes the tests and is taken away.
It was as confusing for Adelice as it was for me. I mean, you know there is more to the story that you're let on but you never fully understand why it is so bad to be a Spinster (apart from being away from your family) until much later in the story. Even then, there's not much to look forward as a regular woman in a segregated society such as Arras!
Both sucks...pretty much!
Adelice lacks personnality. She's a little dull. She goes through the motions trying to figure out why her parents warned her and hid her abilities and what is expected from her. I wish she had been more informed, alert and clever.
Then, you have the love triangle with Jost and Erick. Classic. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be too much competition. Adelice's heart is pretty set on one guy, which is good. The only ridiculous scene is at the end when she flat out announces in front of everyone that she kissed them both. She says so to their faces. I get she was trying to get a specific reaction from one of the characters but did she need to blurt out their secret as well?? What was the point????
I liked Jost, whose background story was surprising and sad. The other characters were okay.
Do I want to read more? Sure. Was it interesting? Sure. Was it great? It was "okay".
Thanks Netgalley and the publisher!