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LOCK IN by John Scalzi Kirkus Star


by John Scalzi

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-7653-7586-5
Publisher: Tor

In the near future, a meningitislike disease has killed millions and left a small percentage of survivors "locked in"—fully conscious, but unable to move any part of their bodies.

Government-funded research has allowed the locked-in Haden's syndrome survivors to flourish in a virtual environment, and to interact with the real world via humanoid robots known as “threeps.” They can also use the bodies of a small group of Haden survivors known as “Integrators,” who have found that they can allow their bodies to be controlled by others. Right before a major rally by Haden activists to protest a law cutting support for survivors, a series of murders and the bombing of a major pharmaceutical company suggest that someone has developed the ability to take over Integrators’ bodies against their will. Rookie FBI agent and Haden survivor Chris Vance and Vance's new partner, troubled former Integrator Leslie Vann, must find the culprit before an even more devastating act is committed. There’s only one real suspect from the get-go, so most of the mystery lies in determining his motives and finding the evidence to make an arrest before his plan can be fulfilled; but 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.

This SF thriller provides yet more evidence that Scalzi (The Human Division, 2013, etc.) is a master at creating appealing commercial fiction.