Wordless

Adrianne Strickland, Author
AdriAnne Strickland. Flux, $9.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7387-3966-3
Open Ebook - 312 pages - 978-0-7387-4144-4
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Strickland’s fast-paced debut follows illiterate 17-year-old garbage man Tavin Barnes as he escapes from Eden City, a tiny state nestled between France and Switzerland, accompanied by one of the nine magical Living Words who supposedly rule the city. In fact, the Words are prisoners, disposable tools to Eden City’s ruthless elite, and Khaya, the Word of Life, risks everything to get away before she can be used to animate automatons who will serve the rulers without question. As Tavin and Khaya try to save the world, their initially frosty mutual tolerance soon turns into passion. Strickland raises questions of identity and belonging through the Words, whose parents are selected from different countries and who have wildly varying degrees of attachment to those nations, and through Tavin, who tries to unravel his adoptive father’s secrets. The cast faces betrayal after betrayal, but the treasons spring from very human, forgivable motives; even the least ethical characters prove emotionally vulnerable. Many plot threads are left unresolved at the end of this series opener. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency. (Aug.)
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