A Straight Forward Science Fiction Crime Novel

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Book Review
Lock In by John Scalzi

There’s something I find fascinating about a good crime novel. There’s something equally fascinating about accessible science fiction. Smash those two together and you’ve got Lock In. A captivating science fiction crime novel that takes place in a world much like our own after a devastating meningitis-like virus hits the human population hard.

It wasn’t hard to imagine a world like the one Scalzi lays out in Lock In. With the recent rash of E. Coli breakouts, the Ebola epidemic and childhood illness likes mumps and measles making a comeback, the human nature to throw money at our problems, help the poor souls affected and legislate the heck out if was real. At points, I was drawing parallels between the novel and news stories about funding being provided (or not provided) for certain types of medical research. The availability and accessibility of medications and other technology for people with disabilities. And just our general treatment of those who are different from us. This is not a far fetched science fiction world. We are just mere steps away from Haden-world of Lock In. And in some cases, right in the middle of it.

The main characters in Lock In are fairly straight forward—the hard-nosed FBI agent and the rookie. How those characters interact is based on their experiences prior to becoming partners and there is not much new. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy Chris Shane and Leslie Vann; there’s just nothing new that I haven’t seen before, relationship-wise, in a decent cop shop or movie. The real depth of the story comes with how everyone exists and interacts in the post-Haden Syndrome world. It adds some twists and turns to the old traditional cop story that caught me a bit off guard.

I definitely recommend reading Lock In for those readers who are fans of crime fiction as well as those who like lighter science fiction. The medical details regarding Haden’s is fairly straight forward and explained well right up front. The technology mirrors technology we already have. This novel would be a great way to dip your toes in the science fiction genre if you find it intimidating. And while GoodReads does have Lock in listed as the first in a series. The book does not end in a cliffhanger and stands on its own and is well worth the read.


The Quick Book Review

A Straight Forward Science Fiction Crime Novel

Lock In

Author: John Scalzi
Published on: August 26, 2014
Pages: 336
Series: Lock In #1
Genres: mystery, science fiction, adult, crime
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: four-stars

About John Scalzi

John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(from GoodReads)


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6 responses to “A Straight Forward Science Fiction Crime Novel

  1. Sounds like an interesting read. I’m a massive crime fan myself, but I don’t particularly like sci-fi so I’m a little put off. But there’s nothing better than a story being set in a dystopian world that feels realistic. Great review, Terri!