Lock In by John Scalzi

A couple of days ago my bestie asked (quite nicely, as usual) that I take a break from the young adult books.  While she appreciates that they take her out of her usual comfort zone, she’s had enough for the moment.  Well, here’s an adult book.  Also out of your comfort zone, but written for adults.  You’re welcome.

Lock In is a frighteningly plausible story of the near future.  Unlike the usual nasty diseases often driving such stories, Haden’s Disease, while less gruesome, is perhaps more frightening than, say, a zombie virus (wow, that was a lot of commas).  For most people it’s a bit of a nasty flu.  For others it’s a bit of a nasty meningitis (which, of course, kills quite a few people).  For a very few, it leaves its victims locked in.  As in, locked into their own bodies.  They are completely awake, lucid, and alive, but their bodies are nothing more than placeholders for their minds.  And you all know how much I love something that hasn’t been done before.

As with all near future books, John has created a new reality of sorts (kinda reminds me of Mira Grant’s Newsflesh world).  A whole industry has evolved to support the Hadens (those who are locked in).  Which is how we have a story.  Shane, our main dude, is actually a Haden, something you don’t figure out until a couple of chapters in (which is super cool).  His conscience rides around in a robot (called a threep, in honor of C3PO).  That’s how he’s able to be an FBI agent.  Even cooler, he was the literal poster child for Haden’s Disease, but he’s sick (pun not at all intended) of it and just wants to be a normal guy (as much as he can be).

Lock In is a bit of sci-fi, thriller, mystery, and comedy.  The characters are well-developed and witty (I’d actually consider this an extremely character-driven book), the plot complicated yet easy to follow, the mystery complex yet solvable for those who suck at such things.  If you’re a fan of any or all of those our genres, definitely check this one out.

Now I’m off to finish a super cute romance novel.  I never ever promised to be consistent.  It’s a huge part of my charm, right?

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Kali

    I just read and wrote about this one too! I listed to it as an audiobook while I drove from Walnut Creek, California to Scottsdale, Arizona, twelve hours over two days. Ugh! It is so interesting that you called Shane a ‘He’ because I got the female-narrated audiobook, and definitely imagined Shane as a woman! I agree that it was pretty character-driven, and there were such interesting ethical discussions amongst the characters.

    1. Leila

      That’s crazy! Now I’m going to have to go back and see how Shane could have been a woman. He/she just seemed like a man. With manner of speech and things like that.

  2. Ashley

    Very interested in this one. Will have to add it to my want to read list.

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