5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Rip-roaring psy-thriller romp,
This review is from: Lexicon (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Lexicon leaps off the page in the opening chapter, grabs you by the brain stem and compels you, wide-eyed and heart-racing, to experience one of the best action sequences it's ever been my pleasure to read. Thankfully, the pace slows down as the plot unfolds, otherwise I'd've had a coronary before hitting halfway...
Lexicon blends a nifty core concept, that people can be manipulated by language and some scary specific words suited to their personality, with some of the favourite themes of psy-thrillers and paranormal fantasy. So a spiky street kid demonstrates a special aptitude and is admitted to a strange kind of academy to learn weird skills - not unlike the plot of The Magicians.
But Lexicon gets darker faster than The Magician series, and the plot is told in flashback format, disguising the developments so that the twists catch you unawares. It has a similar feel to some of Michael Crichton's early novels - believable psy-sci advances, a fast-paced plot and a world-killing weapon - but establishes a distinct and enjoyable style and cast of intriguing characters. The heroine (well, sort-of) particularly stands out as a 'proper person'. She is sassy and good company, but she's also insecure, devious, courageous, victorious and defeated - all at once. The supporting cast are similarly well-defined and frequently ambiguous, so it's kinda tricky to tell where the boundaries of 'good' and 'bad' overlap.
I also really enjoyed that the action is split between the USA and Australia -- the trek through the scorching outback is brilliantly written. My mouth dried out just reading it.
The interludes which pop up between the narrative give you a bit of breathing space - but they also highlight just how easy it is to manipulate people using net-tech and websites which already exist. There's a chilling suggestion that the possible future suggested in Lexicon is already with us. To balance that, the underlying message of Lexicon is essentially about the nature of love. And trust.
You can read it on either level, or both. A non-stop romp, or a deeper commentary on modern society. Either way - top notch. If not entirely original...