Penguin, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto
magine a group of people who can disable and control anyone with the use of a single word. That is the premise behind Max Barry's
, the most powerful type of word there is, has been released in Broken Hill, Australia. This thing is so dangerous that it must be retrieved, but by whom? The Poets, a secret organization that segments people in order to discover their debilitating series of word, wants it back. Tom Eliot, an ex-Poet, wants to get to it first, and has an ace up his sleeve – the sole survivor of the attack, Wil Parke, a man who cannot be compromised. Both teams are after it, but there is a person who wants it even more – Woolf, the Poet who planted it in the first place. They will all stop at nothing to get to the bareword first.
arry has crafted a unique work of speculative fiction. Words are something that we all use every day, but Barry presents a scenario where they can be used as literal weapons. He has populated this interesting premise with complex characters involved in intense action. He has also created an immense back story that races to catch up with the present. All of this combines to create one mind-blowing story.
is a stunning work of fiction. Max Barry shows unbelievable originality and the moxie to take it to its fullest.
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