By

Read By

Wil Wheaton

Length

9 hrs and 56 mins

Audiobook Review

Lock In

Genre(s)

John Scalzi

Overall
Performance

A Fascinating Futuristic Reality Sets This Apart.

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Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects

STAR RATINGS GUIDE

THE BIRDICT

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When it comes to world building, John Scalzi does not skimp on the detail. And what a fascinating reality this is. with the effects of a pandemic splitting society into those who must live through technology and those who carry on as before.

As a fan of both dystopian and pandemic fiction, I always find it disappointing when these are the secondary aspects of a story. The imagined world, in this case, is relevant, but mostly just a setting for a conspiracy thriller. And it's a well crafted one with lots of twists and turns and a satisfying conclusion. Just not my usual thing.

There's also an issue with the overuse of "he said" and "she said" in what is otherwise well written.

SQUAWKING THE TALK

Wil Wheaton was a great choice for this role, his sci-fi cred and matter of fact tone perfectly suited to FBI newbie, Chris Shane. Wheaton interprets Shane as wryly disillusioned and in a strange way it comes across as a 1950's detective novel. The female characters aren't quite as well defined as I would have liked, BUT Scalzi has done something very interesting. He has made two versions of this audiobook, the other read by Amber Benson. So quess what? I'm off to listen to that one.

POSTSCRIPT: The Amber Benson version was more interesting than I could have predicted. Its review is here.

SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO...​​

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This really reminded me of 2004 Will Smith thriller, iRobot, even though the premise is quite different. It just had that feel.
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ABOUT

Lock In

THE BLURB

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.