, August 30, 2014
(view all comments by Chelsea P)
First thing’s first: WORDLESS is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Strickland has a phenomenal talent for blending unique world-building, excellent characterization, and pacing that will keep you flipping through the pages until the end. I cannot speak highly enough of this book.
So let’s start with the world-building, shall we? On the surface, it seems like Eden City is quite a bit different from the real world. After all, the real world doesn’t contain human beings who have the power to bid the forests to grow, or the power to kill with a touch. But under this fantastically unique world-building, we see hints of the real world, of governments that manipulate their people for profit. Of celebrity-status Words who seem to have it all, but really are treated like caged animals.
And at the center of it all, we have Tavin, a seemingly normal boy who’s grown up poor, working as a garbage boy with the man who adopted him. But Tavin’s life holds secrets that even he doesn’t know, and it’s impossible not to root for this wry, hilarious boy as he seeks out the truth.
And then we have Khaya. Kick-ass, wonderful Khaya, who would never sit around and wait for some boy to save her. Khaya is the Word of Life, but her power is being used for something terrible, and so she makes a plan to escape Eden city. That’s when she collides with Tavin - literally, she lands on him while leaping to her escape. And what follows is nothing short of wonderful.
This book is just a masterpiece. The pacing is so fast, the tension crackles, and the characterization is believable without being predictable. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading, flipping from page to page, anxious to see what would happen next. Would the characters survive? Would this unlikely pair become friends, or even more? Who was the true villain in the story?
Strickland kept me guessing until the end. And along the way, I got to meet other fabulous characters, sinister and sweet, snarky and genuine. Khaya and Tavin aren’t the only ones providing tension in the novel, and I loved that the other characters’ stories never felt like side stories added in. Everything was perfectly woven together, and when I got to the ending . . .
Well, I won’t spoil it for you, but wow! I love trying to guess how a book will end, and trying to solve all of its mysteries, but with WORDLESS, I had the pleasure of being surprised.
I recommend it to everyone.