Lock in by John Scalzi book review

Note: This review is spoiler free!


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. The world of the locked in is changing, and with the change comes opportunities that the ambitious will seize at any cost. The investigation that began as a murder case takes Shane and Vann from the halls of corporate power to the virtual spaces of the locked in, and to the very heart of an emerging, surprising new human culture. It’s nothing you could have expected.

Initial thoughts

I had previously read a stand alone Redshirts by John Scalzi and, while I was disappointed by it, I liked the writing style and where he had been going with it. In the end, I kept an eye out for other books by him.

I spotted this at the library, (as I’m sure most of you know), and the blurb is SUPER interesting.


I really like the simplistic style of John Scalzi’s writing. I’m a simple kinda gal! (Although, I do like the occasional foray into more ‘complicated’ books). It’s written in first person and Scalzi does a good job of making sure that doesn’t feel too restrictive.


The world that the story is set in is it’s most fascinating aspect. It didn’t feel used to its full potential. The mystery I felt was solved a bit too conveniently and I didn’t feel the cost of not solving it. They were there, but I just didn’t feel it.


There is a diverse array of characters in this novel. They were all enjoyable even though we didn’t really get to know them. One of the most interesting to me was the main character’s Dad. He was cliche, but not cliche. 

And speaking of cliche, the main character’s partner only got away from being the most cliche character because she’s likeable. 

Overall thoughts

An interesting world with a lackluster representation of it and plot. It was entertaining enough and I liked the ride enough that I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book. (Expected publication 2017!)

It’s one of those easy reads that you can relax into.

Was it worth the read? Yes

Would I re-read? No

Would I read this Author again? Yes

Flames: Flame 4 grey

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