Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen-year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: She wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen to work the looms is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to manipulate the very fabric of reality. But if controlling what people eat, where they live, and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and used her hidden talent for a moment. Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her dad’s jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because tonight, they’ll come for her.
Hello, young adult dystopia. It’s been a while since we last met. If I remember correctly, my last foray into you was Allegiant and we both know how that didn’t fare. I was already feeling put-off by your genre, that made me want to wait even more. But still, I bought you. You were on sale over Christmas and the cover was pretty and so I gave in. Were you worth it? Are you the one that is going to turn my opinion on the genre upside down?
But you gave it a good effort. The concept of weaving is a great one. It reminds me of the Moirai: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, they who wove new live, determined its length and ultimately ended it. For that is, what in a sense, these girls do. But it can only carry a book so far. Your science is very fuzzy, but for the most part it isn’t the kind that pulls you out. The ties between Arras and our world though, that is when things get tenuous. Why did you need to go there? And since you did go there, why a world where women are subjugated and homosexuality frowned upon? Your timing clearly indicates a present date where such backwards would truly need explanation, but we are given none.
Also given no time is why Adelice’s parents were such rebels. I know, I know, I’m surely meant to read future books to be bestowed that information, but I wish more authors would learn that actually giving answers is a better incentive to get people to carry on than withholding. When I get answers, I often want to know more. When it is withheld, reading on becomes an obligation, and a reader should never feel obligated to carry on. The only reading that should ever be done on an obligatory basis is that which is assigned in the course of school or employment. But for fun? No.
Finally, characterization of some of the minor characters feels on the weak side, with thin threads of development serving to explain all the hate. You also indulge in that most dreaded of cliches – a love triangle with a twist that is tiresome. Oh? And what’s this? You have novellas available as well? Sigh.
I will give you some credit because at least you were a light and breezy read. I can also see why you’re popular and understand why the audience for you is likely rather sizable. You may not be my favorite and you will not change my mind on the genre, but I have certainly have frittered away afternoons reading less enjoyable fare. I just don’t know that I will come back to find out how our protagonist’s journey ends.
Verdict: A tepid Borrow It.