Book Review: Word and Breath by: Susannah Noel

Rating: 5/5

Publish Date: August 7, 2012

Origins: From Author for Review

Format: E-book

Order From:  Amazon 

Synopsis: Riana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules. Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.

Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.

Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.

Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.

Review: Riana Cole is a Reader – one of the few people left who can read the written word. She works in the Office of Readers of the Union Government. The Union is the governing body which arose after the Cataclysm destroyed nearly everything and it controls everything. Riana’s job, and the job of any Reader, is to read documents to find hidden codes within the innocuous text since the Union believes the written word is full of subversive messages against them. There are some codes in the texts they Read, those codes are the work of the Front, an Underground movement which opposes the Union’s tyrannical ways. A third faction is out there, the Zealots. The Zealots would like nothing better than to have utter chaos, including no Readers. Riana is one of the best Readers the Union has, taught by her grandfather who was also a Union employee, yet still a mystic. Now all Riana has left of her family is her sister, Jannie, who is ill. Riana tries to live a life where she is near-invisible, but others have a different plan in mind for her – and not all of them have her best interests in mind.

Riana is living in her own simple world, either at work as a Reader or at home taking care of her sister, until she meets Mikel, who is a Soul-Breather (can read emotions and more through touch) and gets drawn into an intrigue which is more her own than she ever thought. Some people want her talents and others just want her dead. ‘Word and Breath’ is a captivating read – I didn’t want to stop reading in order to go to work! Engrossing and with a beautiful flow, Ms. Noel has written a novel which will draw you in with the first words. With this subject matter, it was especially fascinating to me. I can’t imagine a world where the written word and reading has been all but decimated. Fast-paced and totally compelling, ‘Word and Breath’ also has a believable love triangle and profoundly intricate characters. I absolutely LOVED this book and I can’t wait for book 2, ‘Word and Deed’.

Wordless Chronicles: Word and Breath (1), Word and Deed (2)


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