Thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Netgalley for a digital galley of this book for review – all opinions are my own.
This story takes place post-Melting. Drastic climate change led to the melting of the polar ice caps. Letta, the main protagonist, lives in the city of Ark. Life in the Ark is restricted. There are only 500 approved words in the language. Food, water, and clothing are also limited. Art, music, and free choice to marry are forbidden. Letta is a Wordsmith. It is her job to distribute the approved lists and keep an archive of all the words. Not everyone is happy with the ways of the Ark, and some are ready to fight for change. But the leader, John Noa, has a plan that could change the life of mankind forever.
Verdict: Fans of The Giver by Lois Lowry or The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau are sure to enjoy this dystopian novel. This book addresses important social/political issues. It is a great reminder that our actions or inactions have consequences. I enjoyed the world building in this novel. The use of government control to regulate the rules, customs, and expectations of the citizens was believable. I could picture the layout and people of the town with their small, close-knit homes, makeshift wooden tools, secondhand clothes, patched up shoes, and lack of voice. It is hard to imagine living in a place with no music or art or even the ability to speak freely. On one hand I can see the value in the people of Ark being more eco-friendly and cautious, but on the other hand taking away creativity, freedom of expression, and the use of language is unacceptable. If you’re looking for a thought provoking, engaging read, then grab a copy of The List by Patricia Forde and discover the powerful messages within this post-apocalyptic world.