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The Speaker: 12/31/18
The Speaker by Traci Chee is the second of the Sea of Ink and Gold series. Sefia and Archer have teamed up at after escaping the Guards. The two have separate goals: the investigation of the mysterious Book and the rescuing of boys to save them from being child soldiers.
The things that I loved about the first book, The Reader, are the same things that I hated about this one. In the first volume, the Book's power and its metafiction dialogue with the reader (me, you) was one of mystery.
Now though the Book's power over Sefia's world and its relationship both to you and me as well as her as a diegetic reader, is established. It's a bit like the last third of The Neverending Story, but spread out across a separate book.
The other problem, is that clearly the metafiction pieces of The Reader were fun to write and popular with readers (you, me). So there was pressure or what have you to do more of that this time. The thing that made the first book magical now becomes gimmicky. It hinders the telling of Sefia and Archer's adventures.
The final book published earlier this year is The Storyteller.