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