The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus is a book that has been on my radar for a while. The concept just sounded so cool and unique, and when I ran across a copy at a local library sale recently, I just had to have it.
And what a good choice I made.
The Flame Alphabet is a book about a virus that occurs rendering children’s speech lethal. Children’s speech sickens adults, eventually killing them. Soon, all speech is lethal, while children are immune. . . but only until they are adults themselves.
Sam and Claire have a daughter, Esther, who is slowly killing them, being the difficult teenager that she is. They leave her, as most adults do to their kids.
They also are part of this fictional sect of Judaism where Jews are “tapped” (like in a secret society) to practice their religion in these huts located around a wire-tapped hole in the ground. It’s a unique and incredulous form of religion and plays a key part in the story.
The Flame Alphabet brings up so many questions like:
If all children are lethal does that mean the population will eventually die out because people won’t have more kids?
Will a vaccine be created?
What is this cool, made-up sect of Reconstructionist Judaism?
The Flame Alphabet makes you think deeply, and is not a light read, but it is one that will make an impression that is burned into your mind.
What are your thoughts on lethal speech?