Lock In by John Scalzi

Book Review


Lock In (Lock In, #1)Book Genre:
Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Book Series: Lock In #1

Released: 8/26/14 by Tor Books

Pages: 336  Price: $8.99 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I own a signed copy of this book.



Book Synopsis:

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent – and nearly five million souls in the United States alone – the disease causes “Lock In”: Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what’s now known as “Haden’s syndrome,” rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an “integrator” – someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.

But “complicated” doesn’t begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery – and the real crime – is bigger than anyone could have imagined. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

My Review:

This is only the second book (I know I’m late to the party) that I’ve read by Mr. Scalzi and I already know I need to read more.  Much more.  This author’s humor and ideology just seem to gel with mine and I was thoroughly delighted and engrossed by this book! I was so into this story that I was able to read in public with noise and everything.  Something that I’ve mentioned before is difficult for me as I’m distracted easily and if there is too much going on around me I simply can not concentrate to read.  This book, however, is the exception.  The plot sucked me in and even at a loud and busy county fair I was able to lose myself inside its pages.

This book reminded me of a lot of different stories, mainly movies, that I have enjoyed yet it remained a totally independent and original work of fiction at the same time.  I know that sounds confusing, but there were aspects of this story that reminded me of The Matrix and iRobot for example.  Then there were other areas that we simply a good old detective story mystery.  I liked how the world is set in a somewhat near future where the technology was pretty similar to what we currently have but felt like the natural evolution of where we might end up  in our lifetime.

I was a little lost in the beginning as I worked to figure things out, it wasn’t awful, but I kept being surprised by how things worked.  I think if I had read Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrom (linked to online publication)  first I might have  been less confused, but I don’t regret not having read it.  I managed just fine and it did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.  I do plan on going back and reading the short introduction to this world and gain some of the back story before I read the next release in this series due sometime next year, according to Goodreads.

This was a great read for me I loved the intellectual part of the plot all the scheming from the ‘bad guy’, all the politics involved.  I also enjoyed all the technical information we received as the science, real or not, was explained.  That aspect of the story reminded me of The Martian. I also enjoyed the chemistry between the main character and his partner, neither one was perfect but together they were the backbone of the story.  This was such an interesting read and I love all the questions it brought up about personhood and what makes us human.  Really quite a fitting piece for the society and times we live in.

This was a story that made me think, kept me guessing and rooting for the main character.  I hope that this world continues because I believe there is serious potential for this to be a great series.  It was fun and funny as well and I found myself sharing dialog with my husband on several occasions, something he loves tremendously (insert eye-roll here).  The ending was immensely satisfying, who doesn’t enjoy a story where justice triumphs over greed and corruption.  I hope you give this one a shot if you enjoy science-fiction but aren’t crazy about aliens and outer space.  I can’t wait to get my hands on another Scalzi book and see if it lives up to my expectations, I have a feeling it just might.

My Rating: 5 stars