We are so dependent on technology, you have to wonder what the future of words will be. Imagine people taking advantage of this situation to influence the general public and make a profit. That’s the idea behind this story and why I just had to read it. Here is my review of The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon.
The most noticeable thing about the way this story is written is the influence of word flu. It takes time to understand what it all means and how big of a deal it is, but we get to see the symptoms of nonsense words in the voice of our narrators early on. It really slows down the reading and personally I struggled to keep up with the story.
It also didn’t help that in the setup of the mystery we really don’t get a good sense of what’s going on until the very end of the book. It just seemed to be a lot of buildup of the mystery that is then answered by a lot of exposition. Even when nonsense words weren’t being thrown into the mix the word choices of these dictionary writers is also at a higher level than your average reader.
I love the idea and the commitment to an unusual style of writing. (Actually over at Doing Dewey there is a great interview with the author that’s worth a read). The setup for both the disease and the tone of the characters themselves made a ton of sense, it was just hard for me to get through. That’s why I am just giving it two out of five stars.