The Word Exchange


The Word Exchange

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book seems to cover a number of genre’s including science fiction, mystery, and romance. The story is basically about the use of language and how it is used and how we would be affected without it. The story starts slowly but builds to a point that you become thoroughly engrossed with what is happening and trying to figure out who and what is behind things. The language is good but sometimes just a little over the head of someone who does not know about library science with references to people who you may have never heard of. I just looked them up to see who they were and learned something in the process. The characters are well written and you can’t help but have an opinion on them because you get a chance to really know those who are central to the plot and get a good look at the others.

Anana and her father Doug work for the Dictionary working on the NADEL (North American Dictionary of the English Language) and are preparing the 3rd edition for print. Doug is totally anti-MEME (a device used for everything from movies to banking) and has caused the deterioration of language because of its invasive nature into the minds of the public. Things seem to be going well though Anana is heartbroken over her breakup with Max, her boyfriend of 4 years and the mastermind behind a game which invites people to make up words, which he sells to Synchronics. This company is trying to corner the market on words and their meanings.

When people start to show signs of aphasia and illness it becomes a race to find out who or what is causing it and to find a cure before the world becomes infected.

This is an entertaining story but it is about more than words, it seems almost to be a cautionary tale about how technology can take away more than we are willing to lose if we are not careful. The romance is very low-key, mostly pining about lost love or not having the guts to say you love someone. The mystery elements are nicely done though you have an idea who is behind it but you need the why. I also have to say that Anana annoyed me a great deal of the time, she seemed to want to get killed to me because she did not really think much for someone who came off as smart and capable, but was acting like a five-year old who just had to be rebellious. Other than her I enjoyed the other characters and the action. This gave me something to think about and I like that.