Publisher: Tor Books
Page Count: 336 & 36
Fiction Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Dates Read: November 13-25, 2015
Reading Challenge: IRL Book Club
Topic: October AP Pick
Series: Lock In
Good Reads Summary
Lock In 1: A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.
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.
Unlocked 0.5: A new near-future science fiction novella by John Scalzi, one of the most popular authors in modern SF. Unlocked traces the medical history behind a virus that will sweep the globe and affect the majority of the world’s population, setting the stage for Lock In, the next major novel by John Scalzi.
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I've really enjoyed this series so far. book 2 isn't expected until sometime in 2017. Unlocked is a wonderful support story that explains in great detail how the illness known as Haden's Syndrome came to be. It gives all the background information that could not (or was not) put into the first book. I really think I enjoyed Unlocked more than Lock In because of all the science and research behind it.
Even without Unlocked, Lock In can stand on its own two feet. It is a strong story with a great premise, background, and mystery to it. It's kind of like I, Robot meets Ready Player One. Scalzi creates a wonderful virtual world for those afflicted with Hayden's that allows them to interact with their loved ones in the daily world, and also gives them a place where they can just be themselves with other Hayden patients. The one thing that really blew me away with this, was that Chris, our protagonist is an amazing character who is non-descriptive. We know Chris is the only child of a famous retired basketball player who is a Hayden's patient and now a cop working in Washington D.C. Scalzi writes Lock in from Chris's point of view without ever using gender or race. Chris is who you believe they are. For me, I thought of Chris as an black male, while someone else in my book club saw Chris as a Hispanic female. What's even more interesting about this, is that the audio version of the book can either be purchased so it is read by a male or female narrator.
Scalzi has wonderful talent and it shines Lock in and Unlocked. I think we are going to see many outstanding things from him, and the Lock In series is just the beginning.
Ratings (based on a 10 point scale)
Quality of Writing - 8
Pace - 8
Plot Development - 7
Characters - 9
Enjoyability - 8
Insightfulness - 9
Ease of Reading - 8
Photos/Illustrations - N/A
Overall Rating - 4.5 out of 5 stars