Book: Lock In by John Scalzi
Goodreads summary: 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.
I first heard of John Scalzi on Twitter. After following him for a while, I began to wonder what kinds of books he wrote. Maybe I’d like them. I went to Barnes and Noble looking for Truthwitch and decided to search for Scalzi.
I found science fiction, a genre I very rarely ventured into. I picked up Lock In, figuring it would be a good place to start.
IT WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK TO START WITH.
But I’ve got a few things to say. It was a little hard to get into, at first, due to the first couple pages describing Haden’s and giving a bit of background on the disease. It confused me for a bit, making me uncertain about the next few chapters. Maybe that’s just me not reading closely enough. It took a bit for me to get acclimated with the slang terms for Hadens (those the disease targeted and changed) but once I got a hold on the world, I didn’t want to let go.
Scalzi keeps you guessing for the entire book–it’s a plot well-executed, with twists and turns to rival a rollercoaster. It also keeps you on the edge of your seat, like aforementioned rollercoaster. This is, I think, a very plot-driven book, though the unique world also contributes to a lot of its appeal.
However, I feel like the characters needed a little more depth. Agent Chris Shane is a likable, funny character who I liked. But that’s just it. I only liked him. The other characters, like his partner, Vann, or *muffles spoilers* could’ve used more depth. I only saw a side of them; they fell a little flat.
I feel like the plot made up for that though–it’s PURE genius and absolutely addictive. The world itself, an alternate universe to our own, left me wanting to know more about the world, Haden history, everything, which was a good part of the book.
Rating: 3.5 stars