Monday, December 9, 2013

Words aren't Simply Powerful, They are Deadly in LEXICON by Max Barry

The book jacket had me at "secret organization of poets," so this was a very easy sell. Words are powerful and a book based around that fact sounds great, right. I enjoyed most of the book, and maybe it's just my curiosity, but I was left with more questions than answers.

Your quickie synopsis:
Emily Ruff belongs to a secret organization whose "poets" can break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. Then she makes a catastrophic mistake and falls in love, breaking her organization's rules.

Emily is recruited to a secret school to become one of these individuals, called poets, who can take control of people by analyzing their personality type and categorizing them. Certain phrases (that look like nonsense words to everyone else) can trigger whatever actions a "poet" wants from another person.

At the beginning of the book, we learn that an entire town of several thousand was completely wiped out from the use of a word or some kind of symbol. Anyone who tries to investigate the town dies shortly after entering.

There are several plot lines to follow and fascinating characters to follow. It's filled with action, violence, and other mature content. In other words, this is an adult book, not a "teen" book. So, keep that in mind if you're a parent or librarian considering this book for your collection.

Even though the characters did a lot of seriously evil things, Emily and Eliot really grew on me. Emily is one of the strongest female characters since Katniss. Sure, her conscience leaves something to be desired, but her attitude and pure strength of will are 100% admirable.

I enjoyed it mostly. I felt like there were a lot of brilliant parts, but that they maybe didn't come together as cohesively as I'd like. I realize I'm in the minority here. Everywhere I look, people are raving. And that's fine. I guess maybe I was expecting something different. Like answers. I liked the ending, but I still had questions.

Anyway, I would recommend this for someone who likes puzzles, a bit of mystery, action, and bizarre characters. This would make a thrilling movie. For sure. I leave you with the trailer. It doesn't say much, but the music really typifies the mood of the book better than any words I could dream up. Check it out: