If You Love Words


I had read author Max Barry’s Jennifer Government and knew he was good. So I picked up Lexicon: A Novel, a book about:

  • Emily Ruff, a street urchin, good with words
  • Wil Parke, on the run, for reasons he doesn’t remember
  • A missing word that kills
  • in a world where words are weapons

Lexicon alternates between Emily and Wil’s story like a braid. In the beginning, there’s no evidence of connection. As you progress, the strands become visible but are loosely woven and by the end, the strands are so tightly woven they become one.

Agents who wield word weapons are code named after authors. Each chapter ends with 2 contrasting snippets: one from a news outlet reporting on the events of the chapter and another from a blogger’s view of that same event.

If you love fonts, each section title, like “Broken Hill”, is intricately designed with each letter appearing twice in each space.

Lexicon won NPR Best Book of the Year and Time Magazine Top 10 Fiction books of the Year, 2013.