Spoiler-Free Review: The List by Patricia Forde
The List by Patricia Forde
Date Started - 4/8/2017
Date Finished - 6/8/2017
Synopsis: In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
*I received an ebook copy via Netgalley in trade for an honest review*
When I was searching through Netgalley a couple of months ago, this popped on my recommended and the synopsis instantly intrigued me. I've included it above, but will briefly explain things.
It's set in Ark, a bordered off city, in a dystopian world. The main character is Letta, a wordsmith, who helps give the people of Ark boxes of words of List. List is the language that is controlled by the leader of Ark, who limits people to the words they can use so they don't get carried away with themselves. The book follows Letta and the journey she takes on as her master magically disappears and the leader is slowly getting rid of more and more words. I didn't really explain it that well, but you get the jist of it, right?
By the time I came to read this, I had actually forgotten what it was really about. So in the end I went into it without knowing much and I actually really enjoyed doing it that way. At the beginning it's all a bit mixed up and you only know bits and pieces and you sort of have to keep reading on to fit everything together. It's one of those books that you really have to pay attention to the smaller details because otherwise you might get a bit confused later on.
I found the first half of the book to be quite slow and confusing. I didn't really feel it was going to anywhere and I struggled to get into it. However, about halfway through when the whole mystery with Letta's master disappearing begins, I was suddenly sucked into the story. I loved the second half from that point on and it was quite action-packed towards the end. It was definitely worth pushing on through the first bit to get to the rest.
I actually quite liked Letta and I loved her determination, which kept her going on throughout. I also liked how she was quite a strong character and quick to do everything for herself and volunteer herself for dangerous tasks.
The story idea was really interesting and different to anything I'd read in a while. Yes, it had some of the common dystopian tropes (rebellion, war etc), but the world was unique in itself. I also really enjoyed the idea of the Desecrators and how people could be simply banished for being creative and wanting to express themselves through music as well as other things.
There was definitely many different twists and turns throughout the story and many did have me on the edge of my seat. I think the way different people and things connected together as the story went on was really cleverly done and I enjoyed being able to see how the world had changed and the people acted.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story but found the first half quite slow and difficult to get into. I would recommend it though for anyone wanting a dystopian surrounding language and how we use it as well as other things as well.
Rate - 3.5/5
GR - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33846933-the-list?ac=1&from_search=true
BD - https://www.bookdepository.com/The-List-Patrici-Forde/9781492647966?ref=grid-view&qid=1502311423158&sr=1-1
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