Not Bad, But Not As Tightly Woven As It Could Be

Woven - Michael Jensen, David Powers King

I went into this book expecting it to be dark upper YA due to the age of the main characters and the murder mentioned in the book description. It is neither. It's got a dark moment or two and a bunch of murders and attempted murders, but it's pretty fluffy for the most part. The writing gave me the impression it's aimed more at tweens than teens. Once I got over my disappointment, it was a cute, enjoyable fantasy.

 

The Fabrication magic system put me in mind of Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles with everything being connected by threads which magic users can manipulate. Jensen and King take it further, giving the system a firm grounding in textile terms and analogies. I think it works pretty well, though it adds to the twee feel. Still, I liked the imagery.

 

Some sloppy editing got in the way every now and then, (super odd/wrong word choice, a dangling participle or two, a missing period, etc.), but overall it was a fun read. Some good opportunities were missed in the way the story dealt with grief and loss and prejudice, and I would have like to see these issues explored in a less shallow manner. Because of the shallowness, the character development fell a little flat for me, but I'd probably still come back to the world of Nels and Tyra (not Banks) if a sequel eventuates.