The Zaanics Deceit by Nina Post
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Thriller/Conspiracy
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of thrillers involving conspiracy theories with a touch of humor and surreality
Trigger Warnings: murder, violence
My Thoughts: Nina Post comes through again, writing in a completely different style to give her readers a thriller they won't soon forget. Working with David J. Peterson, a language creator, she has made the Vænyne Zaanics language an integral part of the story.
Plenty of the humor we've come to expect from Nina Post is sprinkled throughout the book, mostly in really random comments apropos of nothing. In this little scene, Cate tries to convince Noah to play along in an attempt to distract his brother by asking him for assistance that might end up saving Noah's job.
“And everyone knows the job market is crap, so you probably won't be able to find another job."A great example of the sort of non sequiturs that Cate comes out with is made during this conversation with Benjamin, who strongly disapproves of her chosen field of work.
"Actually, I'm really good at what I—"
"And then you'll start missing your rent payments, and the collection agencies will start calling, and you'll start robbing check-cashing places to get money for drugs, and the next thing you know, you're wearing a set of gold fang dentures."
Wow, that deteriorated rapidly...
“You just finished a job, as you refer to it. You must be tired and I can only imagine the enervating quality of an added threat of the state pen."I really liked Cate, and not just for those sorts of crazy comments. This is good, because the book is intrinsically about her and her connection to the language and her family as she learns secrets that will astound and amaze her, and keep her turned back on the path to being a Lyr again. Her sisters are both quite the pieces of work, as is Jason, Romane's husband (creepy!). I feel like we haven't seen the last of Phillip, Gaelen's husband—I think he has more of a role to play. I have to wonder how it is that Cate turned out so differently. Hopefully that will be one of the questions answered during the course of the series.
"California's state pen is Fisher," Cate said. "It can write upside down, but I think a pencil works better for that."
This is the first book in a series, and there are a lot of questions left open and unanswered. However, the overall theme of the first book—Cate's return to being a Lyr—is wrapped up nicely. I am quite looking forward to continuing this series (though there is no indication to be found as to how many books will be in it, or when the next one will be out)! I think people who enjoy a good thriller, involving various conspiracies and plots and just a touch of surreal humor will find something to enjoy here.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this e-book from the author as a gift since I was ill. No review was requested, but I am happy to post an honest review nonetheless. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: Exiled from her wealthy San Francisco family five years ago, Cate Lyr has struggled to build a new life for herself halfway across the globe. But when her vengeful sisters take control of the family empire and threaten to expose the secrets that her ancestors have safeguarded for centuries, Cate must learn the family's constructed language, evade dangerous secret societies, and team up with a childhood friend to set things right.
About the Book and Series: Taking the reader on a journey from modern-day Istanbul to plague-stricken 14th century Paris, from San Francisco's financial district to the tropical islands of Micronesia, The Zaanics Deceit is the first in a series of novels featuring Cate Lyr and the Væyne Zaanics language. As the first book in this series, inspired by Shakespeare's King Lear, The Zaanics Deceit introduces the reader to the origins and usage of the language, including a functional character set, English pronunciation, and translation.
Co-developed by David J. Peterson (creator of the languages from HBO's Game of Thrones and Syfy's Defiance) and Nina Post (author of five previous novels including Danger in Cat World), Væyne Zaanics is a constructed language with its own grammar and lexicon. Inspired by Latin, Middle English and Old French, the language was designed to be passed on from generation to generation within the Lyr and Severn families, and plays a prominent role within the fictional universe of the series.
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