Thursday, August 23, 2012

Word and Breath by Susannah Noel

Title: Word and Breath
Author: Susannah Noel
My Rating: A

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Wordless Chronicles #1
Main Characters: Riana, Mikel, and Connor

Release Date: August 2012
ISBN: ebook
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
A mild

It's no secret that I am a HUGE reader. With that comes an almost obsessive love of books and the written word. As such, the world that Susannah Noel has created in this Urban Fantasy world is one that gives me nightmares. 

This book takes place centuries into the future and in this world, reading and books are almost a non-entity. The government (the Union) has determined that the written word is an evil thing that's used to spread subversive messages. As such, there is very little written word left and even fewer that know how to read it. For what is left, the government has Readers to ensure that the messages being sent forth aren't used to start a rebellion. The heroine of the book, Riana is one of those Readers. She knows not to go against the government. Both her parents and grandfather paid with their lives for doing so. Riana can't take that risk because she has to care for her sick 16 yo sister. But sometimes fate has a way of taking care of things for you.

She gets pulled into something when she discovers something in a text that's odd. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, she took it to one of her fellow Readers, Jenson, before reporting it. He asks her to not report it and since she trusts him, she hides her finding. That sets forth a whole chain of reactions that play out over the rest of the novel.

There are several different groups pulling at Riana for unknown reasons, the Union (the government), the Front (the rebellion), and the Zealots (those against all of them). She also has two extremely sexy, although very different guys interested in her: Connor and Mikel. Connor has been a friend for a long time. He was a fellow Reader who dropped off the face of the earth three years ago (for very good reasons that she doesn't know about) but has reappeared to help her. Then there is Mikel, a Soul-Breather sent originally to spy on Riana by the Union until he started to fall for her.

I'm not usually a huge fan of a love triangle, but Susannah did it really well. Throughout the entire book I continued to flip-flop on who I wanted Riana to end up with....both of these guys make great heroes, but for completely different reasons. The guys are both so different and even their devotion to Riana is different, but I really liked both of them!

This is definitely a great start to this Urban Fantasy series. I marked a quote towards the end of the book because it quantified just why I loved this book so much....
"But books can change things. They can. They changed me."

How can you not love a book when that is the message it puts forth? I am definitely sold on this series. Now I am just counting down the days until book #2, Word and Deed, comes out in December. Contrasting the two titles and what I know from the story on this one...I am really excited to read the next one. I am thinking that it may be more Connor focused, but who knows. I just know I will be reading it!

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