We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.


On sale

10th April 2014

Price: £9.99

Alex Award, 2014

Select a format

Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781444764680

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Sticks and stones break bones.
Words kill.

They recruited Emily from the streets. They said it was because she’s good with words.

They’ll live to regret it.

Wil survived something he shouldn’t have. But he doesn’t remember it.

Now they’re after him and he doesn’t know why.

There’s a word, they say. It shouldn’t have got out. But it did.

And they want it back…

Find out why in one of the most mind-bending, page-turning, thrilling novels you’ll ever read.

*Winner of the Aurealis Award for science fiction and GoodReads Choice Awards finalist for best science fiction*


Brilliantly realised... strikingly relevant... a resounding success
SciFi Now
Highly entertaining and engrossing... characters that are both complicated and likeable
Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
Gripping... a pitch-perfect thriller, a jetpack of a plot that rocketed me from page one to page 400 in a single afternoon
Truly original... a crack-paced thriller... smart and tons of fun
Barry's smartest dystopia yet
Time Out New York
Sophisticated and laden with subtext... clearly reaffirms Barry's status as a gifted purveyor of suspense
Hugh Howey, bestselling author of <i>Wool</i>
Best thing I've read in a long, long time... a masterpiece
Wonderfully crafted, dark yet humourous, fast-paced and tragic in turn
Lev Grossman, Time
An extraordinarily fast, funny, cerebral thriller
Delightfully high-concept...think Noam Chomsky meets Christopher Nolan
Lauren Beukes, author of <i>The Shining Girls</i> and <i>Zoo City</i>
Insanely good. Dark and twisted and sweet and humane all at once.
Mike Carey, author of <i>The Devil You Know </i>
Dazzling and spectacularly inventive. A novel that jams itself sideways into your brain and stays there.
A spellbinding, intelligent read...a freewheeling plot intermeshed with linguistic theory and some genuinely creepy horror set-pieces