Title: The Word Exchange
Author: Alena Graedon
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Format: Egalley via Netgalley.com
Find this review and much more at Read, Run, Ramble
Thank you Doubleday Books via Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this book!
Though I finished this book, I skipped much of it so I’m sticking with the 1 star I’d generally save for those I don’t complete.
The premise of The Word Exchange is magnificent – so much potential. However, the execution falls very short. The first half of the book completely lost me. I spent more time looking up words than I did enjoying the novel (at least half turned out to be nonsensical/made up words spoken by those who had been infected with the word flu – a virus being spread through malicious devices – so looking them up did nothing but waste time). Throughout the remaining half the author continued using the nonsensical words (the crux of the story is the fall of language after all and the words became easier to recognize so I was no longer looking them up), but lays off of the thesaurus a bit so the novel did become a less pretentious.
However, with things looking better in the word choice department, the plot became convoluted and chaotic with pages of scientific-like explanation of what is happening. At one point in the novel, I read several pages of explanation of a certain thread of events provided to the protagonist via letter, then later basically the same explanation with a little more detail is provided when two characters rehash.
Additionally, there were so many theories tossed around throughout the book that it became hard to just focus on the writing – I volleyed between confusion over the dialogue of those with the “word flu” and confusion over what theory was being explored and who was doing what. I was lost in characters, words, and theories throughout.
I’m disappointed that I’m not able to recommend this book.
I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not compensated for any of my reviews.
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