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Sesana

Sesana

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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Siege
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Crewel - Gennifer Albin I won Crewel in a Goodreads giveaway. I can't even tell you how excited I was. A dystopian centered around fiber arts? It's like it was plotted just for me!

The world itself is, by far, the best part. I was completely fascinated by the process of weaving reality that the Spinsters do. I just wish we could have seen more of it (and less of the love triangle). This tells you much about me, that I will be in the tiny crowd yelling, "Needs more fiber arts!" I loved Albin for revealing information about the world a bit at a time, in a natural way, without resorting to huge infodumps or overwhelming the reader in the first few chapters with a lot of "As you know..." dialog.

Aside from the weaving itself, the other most outstanding characteristic of Arras was the pervasive, institutionalized misogyny. It's one of the most profoundly sexist future societies I've read. Albin did a fantastic job showing the subtle ways that Adelice and her mother chafed under these rules, and I adore her for quietly making the connection between misogyny, draconian emphasis on female virginity, and homophobia. She could have really flagged those points with huge, blinking, neon lights, but chose to downplay it and let the action of the story speak for itself.

So there's the good. Now, the middling: Adelice herself. She isn't a bad lead, by any means, but something about her didn't click with me. She made a show of a lot of small rebellions that accomplished nothing, when she would have been better served to save her energy, bide her time, and operate more quietly. Mouthing off to her superiors does nothing, but she does it constantly. I forgive her that, but she still didn't resonate with me, for reasons that I can't really put my finger on. She was in crisis mode for most of the book, though, so I get that I'm probably not seeing her full character.

I was also totally underwhelmed by the completely undeveloped love triangle. Neither relationship felt fully realized, and Adelice herself has so little investment in one of the boys that he vanishes entirely for over 100 pages. The boys themselves are interesting enough, but the romance isn't.

Now, will I continue with the series? Probably. I think I like the world building enough to continue, and maybe the next book will help me feel more attached to Adelice and her romance.