Two years ago, something terrible was unleashed in an Australian mining town called Broken Hill. Thousands died.
Few people know what really happened.
Emily Ruff is one of them. She belongs to an elite organisation of 'poets': masters of manipulation who use language to warp others to their will. She was one of their most promising recruits until she made a catastrophic mistake: she fell in love.
Wil Parke knows the truth too, only he doesn't remember it. And he doesn't know why he's immune to the poets' powers. But he knows he needs to run.
As their stories converge, the past is revealed, and the race is on for a deadly weapon: a word.
Because the poets know that words can kill...
Max Barry is the author of four previous novels, including New York Times Notable Book Jennifer Government and Syrup, soon to be a major film. He is also the creator of the internet mini-phenomenon NationStates, an online political simulation game. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters. He is a cat person. Visit Max Barry's website at maxbarry.com, find him at facebook.com/maxbarry or follow him on twitter.com/maxbarry.