Title: Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future (Lock In #1)
Author: John Scalzi
Genres: Dystopia | Fantasy | Mystery | Science Fiction | Speculative Fiction | Thriller
Length: 336 pages
In a world affected by a mysterious disease that placed a large amount of people in a state of mental lock in, agents Vann and Shane try to find the truth behind seemingly random acts of crime and terrorism.
It took me a while to get into this book. You see, it opens with a chapter that sets the basis of what happened to the world when a mysterious virus spread and infected, well, everyone as far as I can tell (I never really got or at least retained any of the math), naming which measures were put into place, but getting into no details whatsoever.
Now I usually don’t mind that, I actually welcome it, but as the story progressed I still felt I had no idea what people were talking about for a long time. I even reread sections multiple times to try and figure out the sci-fi notions but then I just gave up and tried to follow-up on the crime being investigated. From then on, I enjoyed the story quite a bit more. Most notions finally made sense, although there was still a lot of sci-fi talk I didn’t quite catch, particularly towards the end, but there was a good balance of action, mystery and suspense in a science fiction scenario.
I still wish some things had been further developed. I wanted the world better explained, how things progressed to current day. It is just so odd that scientists could make that sort of progress in such a small amount of time. But most of all I wanted to know things that were brought up and never picked up again like how twins could inhabit the same threep or Vann’s side of the story of how her partner died. I never even got how exactly Hadens contributed to the society – at least the ones who spent all their time in the Agora -, since we are told they had their own economy.
After watching multiple series of the genre, I also had to wonder why the two agents never had to deal with their superiors and felt they found the bad guy a bit much too soon but the plot was still very cleverly built.
All in all, despite all these things, the fact is the book surprised me and it was mostly a pleasant surprise. I don’t think I had ever read anything quite like it and that alone has its merit. And it was even more surprising how the author managed to get such controversial subjects discussed in the midst of such a plot.
I am also glad the book did not end in major cliffhangers, as I had no idea it would be part of a series when I bought it.
I cannot say I came out of it loving any of the characters – I did find it tiresome that Chris Shane kept wondering if every single person he met knew who he was – but at the end of the day I had a good time and recommend the book.
Read from Jan 22 to Jan 28, 2016