This is a book and a book is a world, and worlds are the seeds in which meanings are curled. Pages of oceans and margins of land are civilizations you hold in the palm of your hands. But look at your world and your life seems to shrink to cities of paper and seas made of ink. Do you know who you are, or have you been misled? Are you the reader, or are you the read?
I read this YA fantasy last year mainly because I loved the cover, and I walked away from my initial read feeling highly impressed with the writing and the intriguing story.
Now, I’ve listened to it (and read it) again, and I find that it holds up with a re-read. It’s been a little over a year, and I still recalled the major reveals and back stories for the two protagonists, but I forgot all the wonder. I forgot the details that came together to weave this sparkling world. Also, there were a few nuggets I missed the first time and was happy to discover this time around.
When I first read The Reader, I’d only read a few fantasy novels (YA or adult) because it wasn’t my favorite genre. This year, I made it a goal to expand on my fantasy experience, and now that I’m a little more seasoned, I can say that this is an experience I think fantasy lovers would enjoy more so than casual readers. So, yes, I enjoyed reading it more this time around, and I did really like it the first time. I’m filled with excitement at the thought of reading the next book.
Recommendation: If you love fantasy, then I think you’ll enjoy this read. Note that I don’t necessarily think liking YA would predispose you to enjoying The Reader–you gotta love the magic.
Book InfoThe Reader by Traci Chee
Series: Sea of Ink and Gold #1
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Amazon, Overdrive
Buy on Amazon, Buy on B&N, Buy on iBooks
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.