A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on August 8th 2017
Genres: Children's Books, Fantasy
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Secular. Possibly offensive to Christians.
Profanity: None (that I can remember)
Sex&Violence: Mild violence.
Trigger Warnings: Ehh, see disclosures.
Disclosure: This book is practically a retelling of “the flood” but with Noah (Noa in this book) as the villain. Abortion is also mentioned in passing.
This book was pretty close to being on my “Did not finish” pile and that’s only happened twice this year. This book lacked serious character and world building. The concept and the synopsis is what had sold me. But, once I started reading, all I could think was that Letta was dumb as a sack of taters. What’re taters, precious? Taters is this poor gal doing everything in her power to get herself killed. Like sneaking in people who have been banished from Ark into her house even though there are guards all around. Yet, no one seems to notice. They come and go at will.
The world was not fleshed out at all. I had difficulty figuring out if the Ark was a structure or a town. And then outside Ark are some bad animals (maybe) and lack of water even though there was major flooding. I don’t know man, I was so lost with all the list speech—that sounded like cookie monster—that I just couldn’t get a clear picture of this world.
The story revolves around Letta, who I’ve already mentioned was fairly dumb. Sorry, I don’t know how to say this any nicer. I’m confused as to why there are wordsmiths to “find new words” when the point is to ban most words. These wordsmiths go searching for new words…why?
Insta-love was the proverbial nail in the coffin on this story. No wait, that would have been the cliffhanger at the end.
This book is all concept. No emotion. No character building. No world-building. Nothing to make me love the characters. I truly didn’t care who lived or died and that’s saying something. Because I cry if a dog dies in a book.
The story, while not poorly written, failed to emotionally engage me as a reader. I was just bored—terribly bored.