Review – Lock In by John Scalzi

Posted: September 3, 2014 in Sci-Fi
Tags: , ,

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John Scalzi has an effortless ability to drop you into a world full of detail and wonder, peopled with larger-than-life, fully fledged characters. Lock In epitomises that skill. Following Chris Shane, FBI rookie and poster boy for Hayden’s disease (the illness the book is named for) and his partner Agent Vann (also afflicted by the disease but in a very different way), the story is a taut, action filled, crime thriller set in a brilliantly conceived future.

Hayden’s is similar to meningitis but it’s effects are wildly different. For some, like Shane, the result is total body paralysis; being locked in. For others, a rare few like Vann, it changes their brains to allow them to be integrators for the former. Technology has taken a huge leap in advancements to help those locked in, meaning that they can use robots as vehicles for their minds. It’s an interesting concept, one which Scalzi takes to it’s logical conclusion: how would it be used for nefarious purposes.

Shane and Vann are quickly embroiled in a complicated and puzzling case and the duo are soon pursuing rogue integrators, unlicensed ‘threeps’ (the real life robotic avatars) and wildly powerful businessmen. It’s a bizarre crime that begins the story but the journey to the brilliant ending is engrossing. As usual, Scalzi tackles some big topics with aplomb, even dropping in a few facts (gay marriage as just one example) with little ceremony.

Scalzi’s latest is a fantastic read. A fast paced sci-fi crime thriller, Lock In has enough of both to keep fans of either genre gripped. Another accomplished novel from John Scalzi and another recommendation from this reader.

Review copy
Published by Gollancz

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