Maaaaaaaan. Why do I feel like I've read bits and pieces of this book in other better told stories? I have yet to read Selection... so that's not it. But this has me thinking of Wither meets something meets something else. Despite this odd feeling of I've read (all) this before, overall I'm feeling 'Meh' over all of it. Mainly because there were so many elements to Jewel that it might have been better a reading experience had one or two or three things been taken out.
And what do we have? Royal blood line that's going to end if *gasp* no one is there to carry on said line. By some twist of fate/accident of science/something it's Violet and those like her ("Surrogates") that can do the job. Also, Violet and girls like her magical. To this last we have them able to control "auguries" of color/shape/growth. Then all these take place in a world that's split in areas that include the Marsh, the Smoke, The Farm, the Bank, the Jewel... so predictably named that I wondered over why they the distinctions were even made. And in this already divided world, we have the Royals whose various lineage were likewise predictably named that I didn't even bother to keep track. And then throw in ladies in waiting -who weren't ladies, companions, and a host of other secondary characters all of whom serving the purpose of amping up the creepy. But failing to do so.
Given all those of those could have have been's: not much of this worked for me. Hell, not even the 'surprise' romance between her and the one like her. And why? There were too many things going on; a consequence we end up with a story wanting to tell too many things all at once so that it's personality and possibility was lost along the way.
But thank you, Edelweiss!