Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One. She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos. As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The Reader is an intriguing book with twists and turns right up until the end and I couldn’t put it down.
This book commences in the middle of an action scene, where Ann – who’s lost her memories – is approached by two men who claim to be friends before being shot at by an unknown enemy. What follows is a story about a girl trying to reclaim her memories amidst a world that she’s never even heard about before.
Ann is a capable and likeable main character who is struggling with the loss of her memories and trying to find out who and what she is, and why the Readers and the Jacks are both trying to find and claim her. There is a love triangle in this story, and while aspects of it were a bit predictable, it didn’t detract from the overall plot line. There was a nice contrast between the characters of Archer and Devon, who find and rescue Ann on the beach and who then become her guides among the Readers. Lucy, Devon’s brother and Ann’s good friend, was a highlight for me, and I wish we got to a little more backstory on her throughout.
While not a long story, The Reader was fast-paced. Information and backstory was delivered at a pace that allowed for both Ann and the reader to get small chunks of the overall picture when and as necessary. While the abilities of the various characters in this book – telepathy, body jumping, clairvoyance and immortality – aren’t new, The Reader has a take on them that I haven’t seen before, and the limitations of these abilities were just as fascinating to me as the lack of limitations of them.
I loved the idea of Samara – a community living in a wonderfully constructed space within a mountain – and the attention paid to detailing how a group of people would be able to sustain living in what could otherwise be a claustrophobic place. In particular, I enjoyed the scenes involving the waterfall and the hot house and storms which I found to be a unique contribution to the world building in this book.
Overall, I gave this book a solid 4 out of five stars.
title // The Reader
genre // Young Adult, Science-Fiction & Fantasy
publication date // August 25, 2016
format // eBook
I received a copy of The Reader on Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.