Advance copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Christopher Buckley is a young man trying to keep his family together and protect his younger sister in the face of bankruptcy, tragedy, and unemployment. He grew up privileged – but all that has changed. His money is running out, and he can no longer support himself and his orphaned sister. Their parents died in a tragic and highly publicized accident, and he has been struggling to survive since.
As a categorized wordweaver – one who can write words as quickly as they are said, or even thought – he is qualified for secretarial positions only. In Tarland, where he lives, categorization is an implied sinister process whereby people are labeled according to their magical abilities, forcing them into certain careers and stations in life. Labels equal rankings as well, so if a person does not have much magical ability, they are relegated to the meanest, lowliest jobs and positions in society. Since he does not have the luxury of being choosy, he ends up interviewing for an assistant’s position with the local deathsniffer – a categorized truthsniffer who investigates murders.