Lock In

John Scalzi
Lock In Cover

Lock In


The central science fiction element of the story is the new virus that causes the "locked in" crisis, and it was interesting to see how society might adapt to handle this kind of a problem. On the accommodations side, the Agora makes sense and it was cute that the robotic proxies were named after C-3PO. The ability to control another human, which is an issue at the heart of this murder mystery, clearly carries the potential for abuse. I enjoyed seeing how the illness and related accommodations had become mundane, everyday reality, and how the new technology was used to make daily tasks simpler. At the point of the story, being locked in is no longer a nightmare, but just ordinary reality for a group of people with distinct social and political needs.

The new technology also adds complications to figuring out the murder mystery. It's clear whose bodies were at the scene of the crime, but who was inhabiting them at the time and for what purpose? I didn't figure out the answer in advance, so it was fun to see how everything fit together. This is primarily a procedural case story, though, so it is also a rather light book. The mystery was more engaging than the characters (though I liked them just fine), and the world-building was important inasmuch as it was important to the case. Sometimes that's exactly the kind of story you want, though, and I am looking forward to reading about Agent Chris and Leslie's next case.

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