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The Reader: 11/12/18

The Reader

The Reader by Traci Chee is the start of the Sea of Ink and Gold series. It opens with Sefia on the run looking for her Aunt Nin. Her parents have been killed and she's holding onto something that everyone seems to want — a book. This is a world where books are dangerous and most people don't read.

This book is the darker, edgier YA cousin of die undliche Geschichte by Michael Ende. It does similar tricks to draw attention to itself to it's function as a book, about being a book about a world where reading is dangerous and there is one book in particular that can change the very nature of the world.

But here's the thing, the marginalia. The book design. The hidden messages. All these things compete for attention and ultimately drew me away from Sefia's story. What die undliche Geschichte does in its untranslated version is use red and green ink to tell you whose story you're reading — whether it's Atréju's or if it's Bastian's. This book, though, is all black and white, though there are artistically added ink splotches, and other errata and marginalia but in to make it look like multiple books bound together.

Besides Sefia's story, there are cutaways to other characters, including librarians who are in search of THE BOOK. Of course it is the thing that Sefia has and the thing that she is gaining her power from, or is using her power to manipulate, depending on how you look at things. There's also a quest or sorts, a let's travel all over this intricate drawn map.

The second book in the series is The Speaker.

Three stars

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 08:31:12

Laura @ Library of Clean Reads

I love the premise of this book and its storyline. I wonder if teens would be as distracted when reading it.

Comment #2: Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 15:44:00


The book has good reviews overall. It doesn't seem to be a matter of age preference. I know as a teen I would have been just as distracted as I am now as an adult.

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