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Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future Mass Market Paperback – August 4, 2015
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“The novel-which contains plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable worldbuilding and a thought-provoking examination of disability culture and politics--is definitely worth the ride.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About the Author
JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His massively successful debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts; which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely read blog The Whatever has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
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The story follows Chris Shane, a newly appointed FBI agent (the book is written in 1st person from his/her perspective – interestingly Chris’s gender is never revealed) and his/her partner Leslie Vann. On Chris’s first day in the job, a murder is committed in the infamous Watergate Hotel and appears to involve an integrator. What follows is a detective thriller with strong political overtones, as all this takes place when most special benefits awarded to Haden sufferers by the government, are about to expire.
I really liked the tone of the story. There are almost no dull moments between the exploration of conspiracies, the political developments, the well-executed action sequences and the occasional humorous touches. Scalzi managed to make me grow fond of his characters even though they sometimes have a hard time escaping their stereotypical traits. Last but not least, the back story is original, captivating and elegantly exposed.
It’s a bit of a shame then, that the big reveal in the end is much less satisfying than it could have been.
*slight spoiler in the next sentence* It involves lots of computer science concepts, that aren’t solid enough to resist the critical eye of computer-fluent readers and will likely leave others confused.*spoiler ends*. The epilogue is unnecessarily long as well.
Your enjoyment of the book will directly depend on how tight you need a plot to be. If you value mood and world-building over the actual detective part, Lock in may be better suited to you than it was to me.
Creating a believable near-future where humans and robots work side-by-side is no small feat. Filling that future with relatable characters suffering under real-world injustices is pure artistry. No character comes across as contrived or silly, and that's saying something when the our world must undergo some drastic changes in order to transform into the world of Lock In.
Lock in is a high-headed social commentary that transforms into a noir thriller in a heartbeat.
I wish The Agora - the cyberspace experienced by Locked In humans - were more fleshed out. Only one character in the space is ever directly described, and even that description can be taken as metaphor. We're left to assume that people in The Agora appear much like their real selves, but this is never explicitly stated. This leaves me wondering if there was a point where Agora avatars were described more clearly but this description was left on the cutting room floor.
While the person is fully aware, all motor skill messages to the brain are not responded to which sucks.
People are able to function through a technological doppleganger and carry on. Haden's syndrome as it is called has received huge government support up to now however the Politicians decide that the money could be spent better elsewhere and are about to end funding.
Then the impossible happens, murders are occurring and the technology required to control the human Integrators does not exist.
Who is behind the murders and how does it benefit them when the government is withdrawing all funding ?
Again Scalzi has inhabited his story with high functioning disfunctional characters. A great ride of a story line all compressed into a single week.
A shout out to the proof reader who skipped Chapter 17 and let all those words go missing. You'll know what I mean when you read the book.
If you like sarcastic disfunctional characters with attitude and a chip on their shoulder; Scalzi is your go to guy
Most recent customer reviews
It is certainly original, and creative.Read more