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Book - 2013
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Emily Ruff belongs to a secretive, influential organization whose "poets" can break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. Then she makes a catastrophic mistake and falls in love with Wil Jamieson who holds the key to a secret war between rival factions of "poets." In order to survive, Wil must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, as the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless.
Published: New York :, The Penguin Press,, 2013.
ISBN: 9781594205385
1594205388
Branch Call Number: F BAR
Characteristics: 390 pages ;,25 cm

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List - Adult Reads for Teens
DBRL_TEEN May 03, 2011

Emily Ruff belongs to a secretive, influential organization whose "poets" can break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. Then she makes a catastrophic mistake and falls in love with Wil Jamieson who holds the key to a secret war between r... Read More »


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VirgilCane
Jun 15, 2017

No one warned me about the aging process, but it sure beats the alternative. For instance when I was a child my injuries healed. Today I am forced to quit sports I believed I couldn't survive without. First it was soccer, then running and finally I could not even do yoga. So on the wrong side of 40, walking the dogs and listening to audio books is all I have left. And for the first time in years it took me months to finish a paperback instead of days. This piece was probably five stars but I don't really remember it all. Now, no one had to tell me my memory would go. My face and mind were melted permanently by the time I saw the Glass Spider Tour at Kemper Arena. I was definitely showing signs of early onset alzheimer's by the time I stumbled into Irvine Meadows on August 1, 1992. But I'm still walking so I'm sure that I can dance, and read.

JCLHopeH Jun 14, 2016

This book moved just a touch slower than I wanted, sitting right at the edge of something suspenseful and thrilling but never quite getting there. It never had quite the big bang, wowzer, "Aha!" sort of climax that I hoped for, but I still loved it. Max Barry hops back and forth in time to let readers piece the full story together, which works really well and offers some satisfying reveals.

Also: WORDS! A nerdy side of me really enjoyed imagining how this might be Noam Chomsky's "universal grammar" on steroids.

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MARSHAANNE
Sep 03, 2015

An exceptional novel, clever from start to finish. I found the plot continuing to evolve, with enough mystery to keep me enthralled throughout. The early chapters slowly lead to more complex details, and there are twists and dark forces which begin to appear. Unique storyline and far more than I expected when I picked up the book.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 22, 2014

Suspenseful, disturbing, and original world where words really do have power.

0Charlie Oct 29, 2014

I was pleased that I got more than I bargained for after reading the description. It was much more than a girl with strange powers goes to a special school. That was only a small part of the story. It took a long while to start piecing together the two story lines (an Aha! moment). It was exciting to have the "magical" power be words and knowledge. It has battles, love, schooling, betrayal, world dominion - something for everyone. Recommended for older teens and adults who enjoy sci-fi/ fantasy fiction.

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MintyFreeze
Jul 23, 2014

This is an awesome book! Totally kept my interest from beginning to end. Creative concept. Smart writing!

lbsisson Jul 01, 2014

This shows as an audiobook but the download comes up as an ebook.

LibraryK8 Mar 14, 2014

Emily and Wil's stories come together in an explosive and thrilling ending! I would recommend this to anyone who liked The Rook or Ready Player One.

p
pagetraveler
Feb 16, 2014

WAY more intense then I had anticipated! Creative story telling, but at times I was lost as to the sequence of events. By the end it was easy to figure out, but there were a couple of rough part towards the end.

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mexicanadiense
Jan 22, 2014

I was perilously close to putting this one down while reading the relatively generic thriller/kidnapping fare of the first chapter but now I'm glad I kept plowing on, the second narrative arc about the recruitment of a teenaged runaway really drew me in, though the temporal bounce-around throughout might be aggravating for some. Lastly, the epilogue was most unfortunate, but on the whole, a worthwhile read by a talented young author.

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LibraryK8 Mar 14, 2014

This story starts with a bang! Wil Jamieson is grabbed by two guys in an airport bathroom. They stick a needle in his eye, ask him a bunch of questions and tell him if he wants to live he has to come with them. Wil gathers from their conversation that he in an important piece in a war they are fighting. Wars have casualties, and before they escape the airport one kidnapper and Wil's girlfriend are dead. Barely trusting Eliot, Wil takes off cross country as a fugitive, trying to discover what makes him so special.

Years earlier in San Francisco, Emily is a resourceful teen, living of her skills as monte dealer. Emily uses her skills of persuasion to push her marks to get in the game, and raise the stakes. When she is offered her a chance at a prestigious school on the east coast to learn a much more deadly form of persuasion she jumps at the chance.

The School teaches Emily an craft based on ancient languages and brain anatomy. Like computers our brains run on an operating system, and like computers the wrong line of code and crack it open. At The School, Emily learns the words and sounds that can hack our heads, and leave us vulnerable to persuasion. But with great power comes great responsibility and when a Bare Word is released in Australia it kills nearly 3,000 people, and Emily is held accountable.

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