Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: The List

Author: Patricia Forde 
Started reading: July 27th 2017
Finished the book: August 1st 2017
Pages: 336
Genres: Fantasy, Dystopian
Published: August 1st 2017
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads score: 3.55
My score:
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.

My thoughts
If you're looking for a highly unique book, stop here, don't look further! This book is all about WORDS. About talking and understanding words, with little references to the flood from the Bible where Noah built an Ark. This story was so clever, so unique and it was actually kinda creepy to bestow a world where spoken language is minimalized little by little...

  • Highly unique: Like I just said, the story is highly unique. In a dystopian world where spoken language is reduced word by word. Talking whole sentences will get you a penalty, and with a certain amount of penalties, you won't be allowed to talk anymore. To make sure people only learn the words that are allowed, there is a new profession: Wordsmith. How original is this! I was astonished in every chapter about the world, the rules, the story and it all made sense in this book.
  • Biblical references: This is not a biblical book, don't get me wrong, but the flooding from the Bible is a big part in this book. Since Noah built an ark and saved mankind by doing so. A large part of this book is based on this story. And I actually liked it! I'm not a religious person, but I went to a Christian Primary School and I also teach the kids in my classroom about the Bible and the stories in it. I enjoyed reading a story with a different take on a biblical story! I don't think people who are religious will be offended by the book.
  • Creepy feeling: Not being able to express yourself because you don't have the words to do so, seems so creepy to me! Since I'm a blogger I NEED my words to tell the world how I feel/what I think. Art is not something that is accepted in this book and the words just keep being deleted, destroyed... It had a pretty creepy vibe!
  • Ending: The ending is a discussion point. I can't tell you if it's a good or a bad ending.. Decide for yourself, only then can we argue about it. I liked the ending, but I also like the fact that maybe not everyone will like the ending.. Do you get me? I like the fact that it can raise discussion! If you have read the book, or plan to do so, let me know your opinion on the ending!
  • Not wow-ing: Although I had a lot of Pros for this book, it's not a book that will receive a 5-rating from me. The book was intriguing, creepy, unique, but didn't WOW me. Now I'm thinking about it, maybe I missed a bit of tension in the final part of the book.
Unique, creepy and all about WORDS. I like the fact that words are such a big part in this book, or actually not, because the list of words that are allowed is only 500 words long. I'm also really curious about more books by Patricia Forde, I expect a lot more unique novels! I'll keep an eye out for new books.

Other opinions about this book
"The fantasy book of the year."
- Eoin Colfer, bestselling author of Artemis Fowl

"A gripping postapocalyptic thriller... it is a well-crafted page-turner, as well as a compelling commentary on censorship and the role of language, while also inviting discussion about what distinguishes humans from animals. For dystopian fiction aficionados, this well-paced entry offers plenty of food for thought."
- School Library Journal

"Forde's pacing and characterization are compelling... An intriguing speculation about authoritarian futures with a terrific cover."
- Kirkus

What's your opinion on discussable endings?