My first Max Barry. Maybe my last...
Suspension of Disbelief necessary to read the book.
The characters are overall pretty weak. The rest of the novel is not solid enough to compensate for this shortcoming. The particular of the central plot device is also way, way over the top.
This is one of those books where the sum does not equal some of the good of its parts. The idea is brilliant, the writing is somewhat solid, but the execution is quite flawed, and left me wanting.
Lexicon's gimmick plays on a premise that any lover of language will enjoy (I surely did), ie, that words have power, literally.
Unfortunatelly getting into the science of this magic system quite in depth was not enough to save the novel. In fact, repeating this over and over again throughout the book became quite exhausting. While some of the ideas regarding how this magic system worked were quite scientific, the restatement of the details ad nauseum got exhausting.
I was constantly hammered over the head with all the nuances and details that went into how words functioned, and whatnot. By the end of it, I felt like I was reading more about psychology than magic. I like my magic systems to be logical and have science behind them, but I don't want to read a treatise on how they work.
Now, let's digress a little on the power words used in the book. On this topic the novel also fails miserably. Some of the power words throughout the book are just plain ridiculous and completely unutterable. They look like someone (a 5-year old...?)just put together a bunch of random letters together. That's why I've started this review by talking about the necessity of Suspension of Desbelief being necessary to try enjoying the novel. All this takes away the believableness of the magic system and the seriousness of it.
In this internet age is language mightier than the sword...? The answer is no, if you go by this novel.