Mini Review: Altered (Crewel World #2) by Gennifer Albin

Title:  Altered
Author:  Gennifer Albin
Series:  Crewel World #2
Publisher:  Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date:  October 29, 2013
Pages:  387
Format/Source:  ARC/From Publisher, via BEA
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopian, Alternate History

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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

*Warning:  This is the second book in a series.  While I really don’t like spoilers, you might find some slight Book 1 spoilers in this review.*

I normally write mini reviews for sequels, and this is still a mini review since I won’t be going into detail about the storyline, but it’ll be a little different.  In most of my mini reviews I just list my notes, but I feel like I need to say some things about Altered.

First of all, if you haven’t read Crewel, DO IT.  It’s one of my favorite books and this series is shaping up to be one of my favorite series as well.  Why? Well, let me explain.

Of course, I love science-fiction novels, and I love dystopians.  And Gennifer Albin has created a really cool science-fiction/fantasy dystopian series here. It’s all about a girl who can see the very fabric of life and time and can alter and weave and reshape those strands.  Pretty cool concept, right?  But there’s so much more to this series than meets the eye.

Albin tackles classism, sexism, warfare, corruption of power, hope, idealism, love, disaster, loss, ruin, and so much more in this alternate history tale. Yes, it’s about a dystopian society.  Yes, there’s a love triangle.  But there are complex characters, twists and turns, familiar faces from our own history, morals and issues about how women are treated in our own society, and so much more that makes these books so much more than your average dystiopian YA novel.

Which brings me to my next point.  Yes, reading entertains.  And YA books are great at entertaining.  And sure, there are some whose value ends at entertainment.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But so many young adult novels these days are so much more.  They comment at our own society, give nods to the things that we get right, shed a light on things that we could change, and give us hope for our own future.  They share a glimpse of what love can be like, what love turned sour can do to a person, a family, a community.  Sure, they entertain us immensely, but they also make us think about ourselves and our choices, give us pride in the decisions we’ve made or make us realize our flaws and want to work towards becoming better people.

Yes, I see all these things in books.  In the works of authors like Gennifer Albin, like John Green and David Levithan, like J.K. Rowling, and so many others.  They take their art to another level and make us feel so many emotions, not only because they’re entertaining us, but because they’re making us reflect on our own lives, while living through the lives of others. They’re the kind of authors that make us want to devour their next book, or make us want to become writers ourselves.  Young adult books, and young adult authors–many of them are so much more than so many people realize, and I hate when they’re not given the credit they deserve.

And Altered is no exception.  I may have enjoyed Crewel a bit more, but only a tiny bit.  Albin kept me guessing, second-guessing and fangirling throughout Altered.  She kept me entertained, while also throwing in all of the aspects I mentioned above.  And that’s why the Crewel World series is one of my favorites.

My rating for Altered by Gennifer Albin:

Five huge stars (in case you couldn’t tell from the above review).  This series contains a world that I love to get lost in and although I can’t wait to read the third and final book, I’m not ready for it to end.

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Macmillan 
You may also enjoy:  Divergent │ What’s Left of Me

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. (Thanks, FSG!)  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


  1. Jenn Renee

    October 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    awesome review. Can't wait to get to this book. the first was amazing.

  2. Bittner

    November 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Go Andrea! I'm sorry it took me so long to read this one but I'm really glad I did! Great review and great writing!

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