Book Review: Altered by Gennifer Albin

Posted November 11, 2013 by Kara in book review, Kara / 14 Comments

Book Review: Altered by Gennifer AlbinAltered by Gennifer Albin
Series: Crewel World #2
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on October 29th, 2014
Genres: dystopia, young adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Deadly SecretsTangled LiesWoven truthsLife. 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. Altered is Gennifer Albin's 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.

First off, I am so ticked over this cover redesign. Let’s make these covers look like every other dystopian book out there, why don’t we? A hovering body, some decrepit buildings, and a generic font. Let’s ROLL! Um no. As psychedelic as the original cover or Crewel was, at least it was unique and recognizable. This was a bad switch. And I am not amused.


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AS for the contents of Altered, that’s a bit more impressive. Look. If you hated or remotely disliked book one, I don’t recommend you reading on, because you are most likely NOT going to like book two. It’s the same characters, a continuation of the same plot (with the introduction of a few new characters), and a new setting within the same world. The same crappy love triangle with Jost (ewww!) and Erik (I ship it!). 

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If the wacky world building made sense to you in Crewel and you could get behind it, well it just gets even more bizarre. I loved it though. It doesn’t always make sense, but the imagery sure is fun. Let me try to explain this.

There is something called The Interface. This is what Adelice ripped through when she literally fell OUT of Arras and landed below it. On top of The Interface is Arras and the weave. Below it is what remains of earth. The way The Interface was described was so amusing. I pictured it like this cross stitch pattern with all the loose and tied off threads hanging below it. So the bottom is messy, there are a bunch of strings, but it’s not made of actual thread, but matter instead. (I rhymed. I win the internet.) So as Adelice is moving through this world and trying to figure out how to save her sister and Jost’s daughter and escape Cormac, the sun is blocked out because of this enormous weave above her where Arras is. And earth is perpetually dark. It’s interesting and pretty cool. But what I thought was odd world building before just gets weirder. There are air ships, The Hearst Mansion, immortal people, zombie-like creatures with no souls that eat flesh…it’s a mixed bag. But the best part about this series is that it’s never boring.

On to the love triangle because I am sure you want to hear me complain about that, except I’m really not going to. I’m not really a fan of too much angst and extra romantic-y baloney, but it WAS limited. There were some make out scenes that I eye-rolled a little at, and I am certainly no fan of Jost. He treats Adelice like garbage in this one. He’s always mad and bitching at her, but they have awesome chemistry, so take the abuse, girl! LOL no. I can’t stand him. I don’t exactly remember how he treated her in Crewel but he acts like she is so selfish. Poor, poor, Jost. ADELICE IS JUST TRYING TO SAVE THE WORLD! But then you have Erik, who is the sweet, cocky and sexy one. I LOVE ERIK. If Adelice does not end up with Erik, I will do something drastic.

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The one thing you need to know is that there is no second book syndrome here. It’s exciting from the get go, though there are some moments where it slows down a bit (but nothing to make you bored). The story continues to develop and gain even more depth and mystery, and there’s not nearly as crappy a conclusion as the one at the end of Crewel. Wasn’t that shit brutal? OMG. I have never been so frustrated with a book as I was with that one. You should have seen me. It looked something like this:

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So do I recommend you read this series? I do. There is another strong woman in this one besides Adelice, and there is a whole lot of excitement. I don’t like how they introduced a particular character towards the end though because it makes what is hard-to-believe world building even a bit more tough to invest in. I totally love this book, but I get why it’s hard to suspend disbelief for some readers. It’s a bit much. Still, there is a lot of uniqueness here and I gotta reward that. Is it time for book three yet?


14 responses to “Book Review: Altered by Gennifer Albin

  1. Thanks for the heads up. I’d been wondering if I should give this series another shot and I’m going with no no no. BLEH that love triangle. How about it ends with everyone dying? I think that sounds good.

    BTW you say that this conclusion isn’t nearly as frustrating as the one at the end of Altered. I assume you
    mean Crewel?

  2. The old cover was so much more subtle and pretty…but maybe that’s why they thought the more generic one would get more people to pick it up?

    Your gifs made me laugh. I still haven’t started this series yet but apparently I need to! But maybe I won’t start it until the final one is out. 😉

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • I don’t know. I thought the old cover really stood out because of all the colors. But maybe sales weren’t good.

      And yeah, if you haven’t started it yet, I would wait until it’s all out at this point. I hate waiting, and if I didn’t have to do it, I wouldn’t.


    Ahem. I’m thinking of starting this series, though I DESPISE the cover change. WHY. Why would you do that. I know the love triangle gets a lot of flak, but I’m still curious about the interesting and original premise and I feel like I’ll be able to deal with the blegh romantical shenanigans.

  4. I really liked the unique concepts in the first book, and I AM curious about the new world-building elements in this one… But, I have to admit, even just the thought of the love triangle gaining momentum is enough to put me off entirely. I bothered me in the Crewel, so I can’t see it working any better for me here. Great review, though! I’m glad that you enjoyed it overall. I’ll probably wait to see what everyone thinks of the third book before I make a decision about this series.

    • I definitely think the romance will bother you. I found some of it eye-rolling and a little much, but even so, I did really still like the plot and the world building. Though I can totally understand why you would want to wait until all the books were out.

  5. Hmmm, I’m not sure whether I want to continue with this series. The whole love triangle thing getting worse is really off putting. But I actually liked the world building even though it was pretty out there. Seems like there’s plenty of action and excitement too.
    AND YES- the new cover is so gross! The old one was much much prettier. Damn the cover redesigns!!

  6. I told you I would read this! Better late than never, right?

    I am totally with you on the cover change, terrible decision there. The last cover STILL had people talking and only just realizing that there was a face on it. Sad about that.

    Wow! The world building blew me away in the first one and I think this one will do the same, everything you described sounds so fascinating. I’m happy that, even though the love triangle was there in all of it’s icky glory, it didn’t overtake and ruin the story for you. I was so torn on reading this one but this review alone has me wanting to pick it up very soon. Fantastic review, love!

    • There you are!

      I had to pick up the old cover to look at it, and I can’t believe people are just now figuring out there is a face on there. It’s obvious to me. LOL.

      I’m glad you’ve decided to read it. I don’t think the romance gets any worse than the first book, but it is a prominent fixture in the series, most definitly.

  7. I’m not happy with the cover change either, I loved the first cover 🙁 I liked the first book a lot and I’m interested to see more of the world-building. I didn’t care for the love-triangle and I know I already didn’t fancy Jost, so I hope she ends up with Eric too!

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