The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1) by Traci Chee -- Review

Friday, October 20, 2017

Title: The Reader 
Author: Traci Chee 
Pages: 442 
Publishing: September 13th 2016 by Putnam
ISBN: 0399176772

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

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.
 


Review: 

I've had The Reader on my "to read" list for about a year now and I was finally able to sit down and dive in just recently. This novel DID NOT disappoint! What a great debut novel for Traci Chee! I loved the twists and turns in the plot as well as the changes in point of view. It was interesting to get to know the different characters' personalities and see the same story from a different perspective. 

The novel follows our leading lady Sefia as she attempts to find answers about her family and rescue her Aunt Nin. She begins noticing she has strange abilities and has to learn how to manage those abilities and use them on her quest. I loved Sefia's "never give up" attitude and I thought she was a brilliant and strong character. She stumbled across some other amazing men and women on her journey and I quickly fell in love with her travel companion Archer. All of the characters and settings were described so beautifully and I could picture them perfectly while I was reading. 

There were a few slow portions in the middle of the novel, but not enough to keep me from reaching the end of the story. The last quarter of the book was full of intense action and world building, and I can't wait to see where Chee takes Sefia and Archer next. I would highly recommend this novel to readers who love action/adventure YA novels! Thank you to Penguin Teen and Putnam for sending this novel in exchange for and honest review. I look forward to the release of the second novel The Speaker on November 7th! 

Rating 4/5

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