Reviews of The Word Exchange

“A nervy, nerdy dystopian thriller. . . . Combines the jaunty energy of youngish adult fiction with the spine-tingling chill of the science ­fiction conspiracy genre. . . . [Graedon achieves] the singular feat of turning the alphabet into a cliffhanger.”
The New York Times Book Review

“A sobering look at how dependent we are on technology and how susceptible we are to the distortions of language.” 
The Washington Post

“Wildly ambitious, darkly intellectual and inventive. . . . Students of linguistics may run screaming from this dystopian nightmare by Brooklyn-based debut novelist Graedon, but diligent fans of Neal Stephenson or Max Barry will be richly rewarded by a complex thriller.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Spectacular. . . . [Graedon's] novel is rife with literary allusions and philosophical wormholes that aren't only decorative but integral to characters' abilities and limitations in communicating, and it succeeds precisely because it’s as full of humanity as it is of mystery and intellectual prowess.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Remarkable. . . . A bibliothriller of epidemic proportions. . . . And, as you’d expect, Graedon’s word choice is exquisite.”
Booklist, starred review

“A propulsive, twisty future-noir. . . . [Graedon’s] attention to language—and the breakdown of language—invites comparisons to writers like Anthony Burgess and Lewis Carroll.” 
The Daily Beast

“Alena Graedon makes what sounds like a preposterous premise believable in this clever first novel, a mystery set in a dystopian near future.” 
Chicago Tribune 

“[A] fast-paced, thrill-a-minute début novel. . . . The sonic pleasures of Graedon’s degraded language are considerable. . . . She creates a powerful sense of mystery. . . . [I] raced greedily to the last page, enjoying Graedon’s plot-weaving every step of the way.” 
Peter C. Baker, The New

“[Graedon] knows how to ratchet up mystery. In [her] dystopian future, face-to-face interfacing is finished and even email is a fading memory.” 
     —Esquire (UK)

“An ambitious debut. . . . Graedon’s own language is essential to the success of The Word Exchange—it’s erudite, ruminative, and complex.” 

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The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

The Toronto Star (Canada)


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ANSA It Culture (in Italian)

The National (United Arab Emirates)

Washington Independent Review of Books

Waterloo Region Record (Canada)

English Kills Review

Cutting Edge (in Dutch)