“This is a stand-alone novel with material enough for six... By the halfway point, it had blown my mind twice... an audacious, genre-bending whirlwind.” —New York Times
“It reads like Snow Crash had a dance-off with Gideon the Ninth, in a world where language isn't a virus from outer space, it's a goddamn alien invasion.” —Charles Stross
In modern day Los Angeles, a shadowy faction led by the Governor of California develops the arcane art of combat linguistics, planting the seeds of a future totalitarian empire.
Isobel is the Queen of the medieval rave-themed VR game Sparkle Dungeon. Her prowess in the game makes her an ideal candidate to learn the secrets of "power morphemes"—unnaturally dense units of meaning that warp perception when skilfully pronounced.
But Isobel’s reputation makes her the target of a strange resistance movement led by spellcasting anarchists, who may be the only thing stopping the cabal from toppling California over the edge of a terrible transformation, with forty million lives at stake.
Time is short for Isobel to level up and choose a side—because the cabal has attracted much bigger and weirder enemies than the anarchist resistance, emerging from dark and vicious dimensions of reality and heading straight for planet Earth!
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.