The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon
In a world where reading on paper has gone all but extinct, a few passionate people are still working on the last print edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language. But a few days before the tome’s release, the chief editor goes missing. His daughter, Anana Johnson, searches for him and discovers a digital conspiracy that threatens all language, whether spoken, handwritten or digital. The Word Exchange is a thriller for book and language nerds. Alena Graedon has created an eerily believable futuristic world where our handheld devices can read our subconscious and know what we want or need before we do; a world where we are physically and intellectually dependent on the internet for information as seemingly innocuous as the definition of “fork.” While the action sometimes slowed to an unnecessary slog, it did not stop me from finishing the book within a day. Overall, the novel is a supremely engrossing whirl through the fluidity of language.