• Page Count: 442
  • Release Date: September 13, 2016
  • My Rating: 2.5 stars

Book Description:

The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1) Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.

Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book.

Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

My Thoughts:


Well this was… exceptionally boring. The idea about reading being actual magic in a world where books are banned is really neat and there were some fun bits (like pirates), but the story itself was just dull the whole way through. To be fair, I almost called it a DNF at 70% and then skimmed the last bit, so maybe there was some redeeming quality I missed hidden in those details.

After Sefia’s father is killed, she takes a book he had tried to keep hidden from her. It’s a key to something and she has to figure out how to use the hidden magic in the world and hunt down whoever killed her father. You know the plot…

The beginning chapters that introduced Sefia were interesting, but then new characters and POVs kept being brought in every few chapters without much introduction as to who they were or why we should care. Then Sefia just spent a YEAR in the woods and the plot kept jumping around even more. Some kid who can split his concentration went to a Library to learn how to read. Even more characters who you can’t connect with were introduced. Stuff happens.

Despite all of the events happening, everything just felt super bland and lifeless.

I started with the audiobook, but switched to a print version when I kept zoning out. The audio narrator was wonderful and I really liked her… so it was definitely the story that kept losing my interest.

I liked some descriptions and parts of the writing… but the way the story was carried out made none of it feel very original or interesting (even though it easily could’ve been). And I don’t mind stories with a slow pace as long as I can connect with the characters or care about something, buuuut that just didn’t happen here.

I hate to be so negative, so I’ll say there ARE some truly gorgeous quotes about books and reading in general woven throughout this story!


9 comments on “Review: The Reader by Traci Chee”

  1. Aww, I’m sorry you didn’t like this book! I loved it and am absurdly attached to Archer.

    Totally different from Inkheart, btw – completely different premise. 🙂 But Inkheart is undoubtedly awesome in it’s own right!

    • Oh good to know! And a lot of my friends really enjoyed this book! I didn’t necessarily dislike it… I guess I just couldn’t get into it. But I’m so glad you did!

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