Lexicon (Penguin, $16), Max Barry’s heart-racing and thought-provoking futuristic thriller, will have you looking at words in a whole new way. Combining recent neurological discoveries with the far older knowledge that language has a deep and abiding power, Barry constructs an ingenious maze for the no-privacy age—a puzzle worthy of some future Indiana Jones. Pulsating on the edge of paranoia, Lexicon unfolds a scenario reminiscent of the Tower of Babel, one that is rooted in our current age of digital media. Into this story—which takes place uncomfortably close, in an exclusive Arlington, Virginia, school—Emily and Wil, recently graduated “poets” of a particular sort, prepare to engage in the next war of the words.
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