Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Review: Altered by Gennifer Albin

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Review: Altered by Gennifer Albin
Altered
Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #2
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Publication date: October 29th 2013
by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.

But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.

In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.
-A copy was provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for review-

Being the sequel to Crewel is not an easy shoe to fill. (What can beat “holy mother of giraffe balls”?) Crewel is a fantastic start to an incredibly intricate futuristic world that mixes dystopia and science fiction until our minds are blown to smithereens, and Altered, packed with even more geniusism, does an excellent job at following this up.

Without losing momentum, Altered begins right where we left of which was nothing short of an epic ending in Crewel. This is where, little by little, we begin to see the bigger picture of this world building. (I do recommend avoiding the synopsis of this sequel – it explains briefly what’s happening on earth and I think it could remove some of the magic and wonder from discovering it yourselves.) Like the first, this is not a novel that allows your mind to wander, nor should you let it even if it was possible, because the complexities of the world building requires your full attention. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brilliant and takes an epic creative ability to have thought it up, making it the opposite of a mindless read. We’re playing with not only science fiction that needs an open mind in itself, but the concept of time and its effects on these worlds is explored further as well. While there’s nothing like discovering exactly how wicked this world is in the first book, I loved seeing all of it in its entirety; what it’s really made up of, how it came to be, who’s behind it all, and what the future possibly holds.

This sequel brings us new characters and new emotional dilemmas. More world building also means we meet more friends, more enemies, and even some… creatures. Being a big fan of zombie novels, it’s not a surprise that these flesh eating “Remnants” roaming the earth had me intrigued (although these are not actually zombies, they’re still equally terrifying). I was excited by this addition to the plot and I think it was very creative – as expected. It also opens up new possibilities for what could be coming in book 3. Furthermore, Adelice learns some secrets about her own life as well which I found mind-boggling, for lack of a better term. It was a little… well let’s just say it’s quite the unconventional situation.

Romantically, this book takes some more interesting turns. I remember falling in love with the romance in the first book. It’s always hard for me to reconnect with those butterflies in a sequel after so much time has passed so I wasn’t swooning as much this time, but I still found myself adoring the sweet moments we’re treated to. As for how it progresses, I’ve decided I really like this direction. Adelice is learning more of who she is, leading her to realizations with which her heart and her mind may not agree, but she ultimately knows what’s best. I appreciate that it’s not the type of romance that goes back and forth with indecisiveness. Likewise, I like how, as in book 1, the romance is kept as a sub-plot.

I feel like this review doesn’t cover a lot of actual plot but I’m trying to avoid spoilers. The progress we make is largely in terms of discovering conspiracies and unearthing secrets. The ending itself is not a cliffhanger exactly, but we’re left with a predicament nonetheless.

Incredibly imagined and as ingenious as the first, Altered is a terrific sequel to one of my absolute favorite books of last year. A book that still has me stunned by its originality.

Find my review of Crewel, here!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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19 Responses to “Review: Altered by Gennifer Albin”

  1. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’m so excited to hear this went well for you, Giselle. I think you were probably among the very few people on my friends list who enjoyed this book, so knowing you enjoyed the sequel makes me happy.
    It seems like the world-building is a lot stronger in Altered and I’m looking forward to it.
    I agree about the romances not being as awesome in sequels. I get bored with the couples sometimes! 😉
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I liked Crewel but didn’t love it, mostly because of the lack of worldbuilding. I needed more — and it sounds like this one more than makes up for it! Can’t wait to catch up with this world.

  3. Soma Rostam

    Wow! Well, Giselle it definitely looks like you like this series a lot
    I have heard a lot of good things about it
    GREAT review, hun!
    Your reader
    Soma

  4. Asheley Tart (@BookwormAsheley)

    Ok, I’m so glad I read this. I only fairly recently read Crewel and I liked it. I actually listened to the audiobook and followed along with my print copy. I felt like it reminded me a bit of The Giver in some ways, but that was okay. I really loved the ending and it makes me excited for what’s to come with Altered. BUT since I do not like reading series books back-to-back or close together, I just haven’t picked this one up yet. But I need to go ahead and do that.

    ALSO – I’m SO GLAD you mentioned avoiding the synopsis! I will absolutely do that! THANK YOU. Lovely review. (:

  5. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    The cover is so different than the crewel cover, I didn’t even know this was the sequel when I first clicked on your review. I’m glad there was even more world building and new people in this book. That always adds some extra excitement for me when reading a sequel.

    Thanks for the great review Giselle. I’m glad you loved the sequel!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  6. Maya @ The Book Nook

    I really enjoyed Crewel so I’m glad Atered is a good successor to it. The ending of the first book was a killer and I really want to find out what happens next – I’m not sure when this comes out in the UK but hopefully it will be soon! Lovely review, Giselle!

  7. Candace

    I haven’t read Crewel yet, but I think I might have it on my kindle. I do remember all those rave reviews though! I’m glad this one was great as well!

  8. Jenni

    Ahh I skimmed and saw that you mention creatures and zombies in there somewhere! I like the sound of that. Happy to see that this one was really good for you. I have been having terrible luck with sequels lately so it’s good to know that I may have a good one coming my way in the near future 🙂

  9. Molli

    This was a 3 star for me, I think (still debating) so I wanted to refresh myself on your thoughts on it. I’m glad you were able to really get behind the romance and Adelice in this one. I hated the direction the romantic plot went in, and am really hoping Adelice steps up her game in the third book. I just…couldn’t really connect with her in this one. 🙁 But lovely review – I should have known the Remnants would appeal to you! 😉

  10. Pili

    I’m so so glad to hear you loved Altered! I found that Crewel was a fantastic book that I absolutely enjoyed and I was hoping the sequel would deliver, and your review has achieved two things: making me even more excited for Altered and give me the reassurance that it won’t disappoint!

  11. Henrietta

    Thanks for giving us a spoiler-free review! I was hesitant to pick up Crewel last year but seeing your review here, I think I’ll reconsider and add the books to my read list. The world sounds fairly interesting 🙂

  12. Emily

    Oh, sighpie, I cannot wait to read this one!
    Crewel stunned me with its originality, and Altered is a sequel that I’m highly anticipating!
    I’m not sure to thank you or not for not sharing any spoilers! Naw xD Haha. Thanks for that, though the whole of me is dying to know what happened in Altered!!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Giselle, and I’m so happy that this sequel lived up to its predecessor! 🙂
    Fantastic review!! <3

  13. Aylee

    I have yet to read Crewel, but I remember thinking how creative it sounded and it’s pretty exciting to hear that even the sequel is super imaginative. What a concept! I’m all about originality lately because it’s hard to come by these days when it seems like all the dystopians, paranormals, and fantasies blend together with other books within their genre. So I really, really appreciate the originality of this series; can’t wait to read it for myself! Thanks for this review, Giselle – it was excellent!

  14. Vivian

    As much as I wanted to enjoy Crewel, I just didn’t. I’m pretty burned out on dystopian, so that’s partly why. I’m glad you love this series though and that the sequel is just as amazing. Great review Giselle!