Hardcover, 442 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Putnam
Original Title: The Reader
Series: Sea of Ink and Gold #1
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Goodreads
*I purchased this book for my personal collection*
Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.
Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book.
Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.
I’ve had The Reader sitting on my shelf since it first came out, and I’ve been meaning to read it, but like most of us know, something else gets in the way and the book kept being put on hold. When the opportunity came up to take part in the re-read campaign I knew then that I was going to read the book. I will say that I was kicking myself for putting this off for so long, but at the same time I was finally able to see why there was the hype around this book.
The interaction in the book, outside of the story itself was an interesting and fun “game” so to say, while reading the book, looking to check the page numbers to see if there was a clue or not and making sure that I had a scrap of paper and pen with me to keep track of the clues was entertaining.
In a world where reading is a form of magic and books are outlawed, Sefia realizes that she has the ability to read, and see things that others can’t, while reading the book you find out about this society of people known as “Illuminators” who are people that can read books, and tap into magic that allow them to use words to manipulate others and things.
I found that reading this was very different, you follow Sefia throughout the book, but at the same time you read what’s in the book she is carrying with her. So at points you are reading a story within a story, and I enjoyed reading the story that was in the book. At one point the stories cross paths and the reader (Sefia) is now with the characters in the book she was reading.
There is such a large cast of characters, both in Sefias world, and that in the world of the book she is carrying with her, I’m not sure if I can just pick a favorite or two. But I’d have to say that I was rooting for Sefia and Archer. Their relationship is an odd one at the start, the fact that she chose to save him sets a good portion of this story into motion. As for the story in the book, I enjoyed the Captain and Harrison, I’m not 100% as to why, but these two stuck with me the most in the story.
The ending of this book I felt left off on such a good cliffhanger, that I’m super excited that The Speaker is out in a few weeks instead of having to wait that entire time the wait will be much shorter.
Are you the reader or are you the read?
Traci Chee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Reader. An All-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts. She studied literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog.
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SCHEDULE FOR THE REREADER CAMPAIGN
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