Publication Date: Augustus 31, 2012
Finish Date: November 29, 2012
Source: review copy from author
From Goodreads: Riana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules. Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.
Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.
Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.
Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place.
I finished word and breath in one day, the story is fast paced and interesting. For once the main girl is actually just a normal person, who tries to mind her own business and doens't try to attract attention. Until that all changes.
The story is interesting and original. However the first few chapters feel a bit rushed and it takes some time before the story get's really good. The story is written very well and I liked seeing the perspective from more than one person, the book is written by multiple perspecitives and i think this really adds to the story!
The characters were likeable and mostly acted very believeable and in-character. Although the falling in love part could've done a bit better, because it is practically told they fall in love and I would've loved to experience this together with the characters, which unfortunately doens't happen. This only concerns the beginning of the story and later on the love is developed very well. I did like getting to know the multiple characters and getting a good idea what their motives and values are. Also there is a sort of love triangle, but it is worked out very believeable.
The world building is very interesting, although it is a world in which I wouldn't want to live. There aren't many people who can read and reading isn't encouraged. On the other hand I did like the focus this placed on those who can read and their importance. I think it's original to base a dystophia world on this, but I did feel like there should've been more world building. It isn't entirely clear what happened to the world to make it this way and the focus is only on a small portion of the world. I had no idea what the rest of the world is like, although there where made a few comments about this, I would've liked it if the world building was more eleborate.
To conclude: an interesting an original story. I liked the multiple perspectives and the characters. The world building could've done a bit more elaborate, but I really enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to the next book.