It’s the first day of the A-to-Z Blogging challenge, so I thought I’d kick things off with a personal favorite. Five years ago, I moved to Kansas City just before National Novel Writing Month began. I knew few people here outside of the roller derby community, and wasn’t working yet. At the first write-in I attended, I sat beside a kind, funny, welcoming woman who would become a cheerleader for me that month, and would end up winning NaNo herself right at the last minute. Two years later, I attended Gennifer Albin’s launch party for Crewel (the first book of a YA sci-fi trilogy), and fell in love with the world she created.
Crewel takes place in Arras, a world where powerful women called Spinsters are able to manipulate matter and time. Adelice Lewys can see the weave of the world all around her, not just on the special looms the Spinsters use. Unlike most girls at her school, who swoon at the very idea of being chosen as a Spinster, Adelice has been actively trying NOT to be selected. Her parents have been training her to hide her gift, for reasons she doesn’t fully understand until after she slips during the last day of testing, and touches the weave. That evening, she is forced from her home, and taken to the tower, where she is swept up in the intrigue of a world built on secrets.
From the beginning, I was caught up in Gennifer Albin’s carefully crafted world of Arras, as well as the characters. Adelice is strong, sarcastic, but also vulnerable. Cormac Patton is the smarmy villain you love to hate. The technology of the world verges on magic, which makes it a perfect match for a reader like me who loves both sci-fi and fantasy. The climax, while not entirely unexpected, does have a twist that startled me and made me hate having to wait for the next book. (Now that all three are out, you don’t have to wait!) I’ve read each book in the trilogy as it was released. The way the truths of the world reveal themselves over the course of the series is incredible. (A HUGE surprise in Altered made me squeal with delight!) In short, I highly recommend the entire Crewel World trilogy for any lovers of dystopian fiction.