Target: Max Barry’s Lexicon
Profile: Speculative Fiction, Thriller
After Action Report:
As I have written before, I find book recommendations to be more annoying than useful (which raises some interesting questions about why I write book reviews). There are so many variables involved in what makes any given book appealing to a given person that, without a history of literary compatibility, it is almost impossible guarantee that any two people will like the same book. Still, every so often I’ll follow up on a recommendation or a particularly good review from a source that I like and it won’t disappoint me. Lexicon not only did not disappoint, it wildly exceeded my expectations.
Lexicon takes place in a world where “Poets” have been the real power hidden in the shadow of history. These individuals, possessed of extraordinary willpower and a set of linguistic tools, are able to command people by speaking a few key words that bypass our conscious minds and force us to obey. The idea on its own is fascinating, drawing on shades of Neal Stephenson’s secret histories and J.K. Rowling’s ‘school for special people’ concept.