2022 Book Review: Lock In

Lock In by John Scalzi

A Science Fiction, 2014 by Tor Books, 336 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The opening “chapter”, while important, could easily turn people off. It’s the only chapter in the entire book written in a dry voice but I can see it giving the impression that the entire book is written like that. It’s sort of a prologue, giving you information about Lock In and what that term means. In my opinion, you can learn all of that from the story itself. Don’t be scared away by the dry opening chapter, is what I’m saying. 
  • Age Category confusion. So I was told this was YA by whoever recommended it. I can see where they got that idea: the font is large, nothing overtly sexual or adult comes into play, and there’s definitely a main character who is learning his place in the world. But the character is an FBI agent, a grown adult, and it is listed in the adult age category by the publisher. I’ve noticed a heavy dose of reviewers who don’t love this one miss the sexual tension/romance angle and the heavy violence they’d expect from this genre for adults. Do with that information what you will. 

What I Did Like:

  • What a concept! The entire premise of having people who have suffered from a disease lose control of their physical bodies and being LOCKED IN is fascinating. It gives a HUGE lens for the author to explore biases, technology, government, and even virtual reality. It’s a brilliant concept that was obviously well thought out, allowing the author to leave some science in this science fiction. 
  • Great characters. The two FBI agents who take the lead on this one could easily stand alone in any novel. They’re strong but flawed, loaded with backstory, and yet good at their jobs. They’re interesting to read about and THAT BANTER between them just made me incredibly happy. 
  • The mystery is solid. That’s not what you come to this book for, I get it, but it is! The FBI part of this book is about solving a mystery and figuring out what is going on and who is behind it. I didn’t have it all figured out and that was GREAT!

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fans of science fiction in the near future with technology that feels entirely plausible. 
  • Fans of detective novels who are looking for SOMETHING DIFFERENT. You don’t want the cliche bad guys being chased by the cliche cop, you want creative. Give this one a try. 
  • As a sort of side note I’ll say this one was recommended to me as a comp title for my own book, Projection. After reading it, I GET IT. Projection is also a near future science fiction with incredible technology that allowed me to explore big ramifications for messing with the human/technology connection. I’m HONORED that this was listed as a comp but I wholeheartedly agree. So, if you like Projection, you’ll like this one (and vice versa). 

My Rating: 5 Stars

  • The crossover of science fiction and detective novel WORKS and will please fans of both genres. This one is highly recommended, folks. 

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