Lock In by John Scalzi (Narrated by Amber Benson)

Posted October 15, 2014 by christina in Reviews / 1 Comment

Lock In by John Scalzi (Narrated by Amber Benson)Lock In by John Scalzi
Narrator: Amber Benson
Published by Audible Studios on 28 August 2014
Length: 11 hrs
Genres: Dystopian, Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Rating Report
Story (Plot)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Production Quality
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Attention Holding
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

2 editions. 2 narrators. 1 thrilling story. You can enjoy Wil Wheaton's narration here.

"I love working with Audible, in no small part because they’re committed to doing what’s right, both for my books, and the people who listen to those books. There's a really excellent reason for Lock In to have two entirely different versions, so when it came time to make the audiobook, Audible did an ingenious thing: they asked both Wil Wheaton and Amber Benson to record entire versions of the book. As the author, I’m impressed with Audible’s commitment to my narrative - and I’m geeking out that both Wil and Amber are reading my book. This is fantastic." (John Scalzi)

A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.

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.

BONUS AUDIO: Audible's audio edition of Lock In contains the bonus novella, Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome, written by John Scalzi and narrated by a full cast.

©2014 John Scalzi (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Hugo-winner Scalzi successfully shifts away from space opera with this smart, thoughtful near-future thriller resonant with the themes of freedom, ethics, and corporate greed….This powerful novel will intrigue and entertain both fans and newcomers." (Publishers Weekly)

"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." (Kirkus)

"Another brilliant novel from a writer who has quickly become one of the genre’s most successful and intriguing practitioners." (Booklist)

Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2014 - I'm a huge sci-fi listener, and when I heard that John Scalzi was coming out with a new novel in August, there was no question that it was going to be my pick for the month. The premise: In the near-future, a mass contagion called Haden's Syndrome sweeps the world. 99% of those affected experience normal flu-like symptoms, but 1% of the world is left "locked in" – trapped with a fully functional mind inside a non-functioning body. Technological advancements have made it possible for these people to move through the world using artificial android-like bodies but often at the sacrifice of being viewed as less than human. Lock In takes place about twenty years after the outbreak, and focuses on Chris Shane's first day on the job as an FBI agent (Chris is one of the world's most famous victims of the disease). I've always admired Scalzi for is his ability to write compelling, multi-dimensional characters of all genders, and in this book, he does something truly novel: he never specifies a gender for Chris. As a result, we're rewarded with two great versions of this audiobook - one narrated by Wil Wheaton, and one by Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This is a thrilling, highly original, genre-bending story that will appeal to mystery & thriller and sci-fi fans alike. —Sam, Audible Editor

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I was really excited by the synopsis on this one. The entire Sci Fi feeling is there but it didn’t feel so Sci Fi ish.. this felt like it could be something that actually happened in our world, just in our future. The entire concept reminds me of something like if Judge Dredd and Almost Human had a baby. Of course that baby would come out looking exactly like Karl Urban (which honestly I will not complain about!)

This was set up in two different editions. The one I listened to was narrated by Amber Benson and I think she did a fabulous job. I actually looked to see if it was only one actor because Amber is so fantastic at voices that I thought another gal may have joined her. Her voice and play on characters is nice because there is not a small amount of characters in this. It would have been very difficult to keep up with everyone had she not done such a superb job with the accents. I actually laughed a few times because the idea of the person matched what her accent was.

As the book introduces the characters I got a sense of real snarkiness form the two lead gals. Both cops, one locked in and one not. I love snarkiness in characters so this really thrilled me. There is some stuff about both gals that Scalzi does go into later on in the plot but not so much that it drags anything down. I really enjoyed hearing about their backgrounds, although, we learn about the main character, Chris Shane, pretty fast.

Then there is the sciencey stuff. I totally loved this part until the explanations start rolling. To be honest maybe some of it went over my head but not so much that I couldn’t continue with the story line so I just went with it and tried to keep up. It was fantastically done being that John Scalzi had to explain the entire mystery behind what is driving the plot. This was great too because at about 10% I was asking where the story was going to go and shortly thereafter I got my answer. There IS a mystery behind it all but the Hadens have to be explained before the story can really get in that direction.

Production was great, again Amber’s use of multiple voices was awesome, and the story line really felt like it was perfectly plotted. A little slow in some parts so it just misses that 5 star mark, but really, just barely!

About John Scalzi

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

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