Lexicon by Max Berry #BookReview
Fiction Thriller 390 pp
The power of words is strong. It can persuade a person to do anything. Or nothing.
A school/academy that focuses solely on training people to manipulate people based off their personality types or “segments.” You can see where this could go from a micro to a macro perspective. Every action you do on the internet? You’re being profiled and manipulated. Conspiracy theory! Yes! This is nothing new as it lightly satirizes marketing and social media and its influence. However, there’s a lot more involved with Lexicon than waxing the poetic on conspiracies.
The novel opens simple enough: the protagonist, Wil, has a needle piercing his eyeball by one of his two assailants. They seem to be searching for something in his head. What then follows is a chase where the assailants and Wil are the ones being pursued. And then the novel shifts gears; we’re now a few years back in a different storyline featuring the young, street smart grifter, Emily being invited to join a very different type of school. From here we watch as the storylines between Wil and Emily intersect and go forward together.
I love a good conspiracy story, although this is maybe the second one I’ve ever read; the rest generally from watching X-Files, various movies, and the like, but never really read. The first had to do with the Roman Catholic Church and vampires. Yes. I said vampires. However, as previously mentioned, it touches lightly on the global conspiracy aspect, but just enough to get the reader thinking. Subjects also lightly treaded upon include neurochemistry, psychology, and profiling to name a few.
It’s a well thought out, intelligent thriller with a touch of romance that moves at a frenetic pace as the search for that mysterious “something” in Wil’s head has us turning the page at whiplash speed in order to find out what’s so important in his head that he has to have a needle piercing through his eye to get to his brain.