The Reader by Traci Chee


Alright, I just finished this book about two hours ago, so it’s still fresh on my mind. So let’s get on to it.

Sefia’s aunt, Nin, was kidnapped by people who want a mysterious object that Sefia’s been carrying all her life but know virtually nothing about. It turns out, this object is a book, a magical thing that tells stories. But not just any stories. It contains everything that has ever happened in history and that will happen in the future. And those who are after it will stop at nothing to get it back.

This book is quite meta-fictional. It’s a book about books, about the power of books and the stories they tell. What if books are actually magical objects? And not just in the metaphorical sense? I really appreciated it’s meta aspects, even the ones that are concrete, like the text fading to indicate someone disappearing, or the text being scratched out. I think that was really creative.

So many things about it were so, so good! The world-building, the characters, the writing, and the friendship-to-romance relationship between the main characters. I also like Chee’s writing. I liked that at times it was whimsical. I love the diverse cast, how nobody was pegged to certain roles because of their gender or their race. Nobody batted an eyelash about women being assassins or pirates or lieutenants. I love that!

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