sexta-feira, 2 de setembro de 2016

Book Review | Lock In by John Scalzi

Set in an undefined future, John Scalzi's Lock In takes place in a world where a global pandemic called "the Great Flu" evolved into a state of complete paralysis named Haden's syndrome. About 1% of the population lost control over their bodies as a result of Haden's and some of them use people as Integrators to be able to live through someone else. In this world, cars self-drive and highly advanced gadgets are common in everyday life.

The plot starts with a brief introduction into this scenario, but little else is provided as we follow agent Chris Shane's first and second day on the job as an FBI agent. He is assigned to a crime scene where an Integrator is involved and some shady business is clearly going on. What follows is a series of legal procedures and a large amount of information without context or detailed explanation, but I feel it was intended.

One of the most interesting aspects of the plot is that besides being able to integrate, Hadens can also use android figures called threeps to roam around. Chris Shane is the poster child of such practice, which comes in handy in his line of duty, as the threep can be destroyed, but the mind that controls it stays intact.

The novel felt short for such implications. There are so many nuances to explore that it felt the book was not enough to go into detail and also cover a crime at the same time. Actually, even though I enjoy crime novels, the investigation part ot this book felt boring when there were so many other things I wanted to know about.

John Scalzi has a very peculiar narrative in which characters are not physically described as much as they are described by their actions. Gender, ethnicity, sexual preference is all up to interpretation. Chris can very well be a woman. Chris' partner can also not be a woman. Who knows? What was left for interpretation is one of the strong suits of this book. All the implications of one being able to integrate in another one's body to go through experiences otherwise impossible has many variables, the darker ones detailed in the novel.

I enjoyed this book, but felt it was too short. I wanted to know more about this world where androids are part of the society, but still viewed as outcasts in a way. I also wanted to know more about the way in which science advanced so much it was possible to implant things in the brain to have threeps be possible.

If you're interesting in reading this, you might also enjoy an article styled novella John Scalzi wrote. It's at Tor.



2 comentários:

marta filipa costa disse...

Andamos a trocar destinos, não é mesmo? :)
Eu não vivi em Cascais, mas a minha irmã sim e passei muitas férias por lá!

Vanessa S.S. disse...

Parece que sim :) Ter Cascais perto faz-me sentir melhor por ter o Porto tão longe.