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4.1 6
Young Adult Fiction 438
Such an interesting concept; imaginative world-building!
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In a dystopian world where the Arras government controls everything- from what you wear, to marriage, to how many kids you can have, to the limited amount of food rationed to your family each week- being a Spinster means having a life that all little girls dream of when they’re little. In Arras, men run the show, and if you’re a girl and don’t develop the skills to be a Spinster, the best you can hope for is to become a secretary and look pretty while playing mom and wife if they government allows it. For the majority of Adelice’s life, her parents have taught her to hide her spinning abilities in hopes that she’d never be taken away by The Guild. Because once you become a Spinster, you’re one for life. You’ll be expected to live away from your family, maintain “pure” standards (which means no hooking up or sex, EVER), and never marry. Your life will be dedicated to spinning the extremely delicate threads of life-matter and time to makes sure the preservation of Arras continues on for eternity.

On the surface level, this story seems like most other dystopians that have become so popular over the past few years. Life as we know it now has ceased to exist and formulaic standards are set in place. One, there’s a villain or controlling body, usually a government like The Guild in this book, that dictates the population in hopes of restoring order and balance to a world gone wrong. Two, there’s the heroine (or sometimes hero) that steps in to plant the seed of doubt and begins a bit of a revolution. Three, a love interest or love triangle that comes to the protagonist’s aid and shifts the plot into motion.

Where this dystopian differs from its predecessors is in the ingenuity of its world-building and how Arras came to be. It’s like The Matrix except for instead of binary coding, Spinsters see the world as though it were a complex fabric made up of millions of tiny threads. They can weave anything into existence using these threads to interlock time and matter: weather, people, animals, landmarks, buildings, etc. Yet, just as easily, snapping a thread can blink anything or anyone out of existence.

The whole process pulled me in from the beginning and kept me questioning the possibility of this type of universe. As the story progressed, I grew more enthralled with the journey that the author takes us on. However, I felt a bit let down at the end. Though there’s no cliffhanger, there is a life-altering moment that takes place. I felt like it was supposed to leave me flailing and screaming for the next in the series immediately, but I actually felt underwhelmed by the turn of events. That being said, it does open up a world of possibilities for the series and I’m definitely curious as to where it will go from here.

Adelice, our heroine, is a witty girl with a stern backbone that doesn’t back down from a challenge, even if it means she’ll get thrown in jail. When she realizes just how powerful her weaving skills are and how much the government is willing to put up with in order to have her on their side, she goes out of her way to be a snarky pain in the butt. By now, you should know that I like my girls to have a bit of fierce attitude to them, and Ad is definitely feisty.

Adelice has a few gentlemen pursuers, but I didn’t really have any strong feelings toward any particular one except for one of the main villains, Cormac Patton who is Coventry Ambassador for the Guild of Twelve. Yuck!

With that comes my major complaint; I wanted to feel the love triangle more. Actually, I kind of just wanted to feel any kind of love. The romance, the pull or attraction, was honestly a bit lackluster for me. I feel like it had the potential to be there, but there was more telling than showing me about Adelice and her “connections” to the guys. I need a tiny bit of spark in my books to fully enjoy them.

All in all, Ms. Gennifer Albin has a compelling way in which she writes. The world-building was fascinating and the descriptions were vivid, keeping me enamored with Adelice’s surroundings and the other characters throughout the book. I thought it was a creative plot and I look forward to seeing more of what this series has to offer.

*Note: I was provided an e-ARC of this title from MacMillan via Net Galley.

Good Points
Descriptive writing with vibrant characters and a lush setting.
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