Lock In - John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton

Listened to this in audiobook format via Audible. That particular version is about 10 hours long and the last 2 hours or so is the added in meta-history companion novella for main story, called Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome. The main story, Lock In, is narrated by Wil Wheaton alone. The Unlocked novella has multiple narrators and is told in a parallel story flashback format that reminded me of World War Z.

 

The story - pretty engaging characters, follows the standard police procedural format of increasingly more important mini-climaxes to the final reveal. The protagonist has the almost cliche backstory of being the "privileged son gone to do good on his own as a cop" with the twist being that he is also one of the persons affected with a disease called Haden's Syndrome in an alternate future America. The disease is a sci-fi combo special somewhere between the Black Death and locked-in syndrome, with the outbreak having occurred in the protagonist's early childhood and the actual story happening in his adulthood and dealing the repercussions of the disease on society.

 

I enjoyed the socioeconomic and sub-culture emphasis. The world-building exploring how having significant chunks of the population affected with such a disease and how they coped is touched on in the main story and explained more in depth, or at least the nitty gritty details are given, in the companion novella. I didn't particularly like any of the characters or found them relateable, but it was interesting to see how each reacted to events as the story went on and what new piece of their history was going to be revealed.

 

Pop culture references galore for those who like that sort of thing. :)

 

The audiobook - I like Wil Wheaton's voice, his tone of voice generally sounds quite nice to my ear, but I found his differentiation between character voices to be sub par. There was a difference, but not a great enough one to distinguish accurately when one character stopped speaking and another did in long patches of conversational dialogue which could be confusing as I don't just sit and listen to the book, I'm generally doing something else to occupy my hands while listening.

 

Rated Lock In as 3 star book but as this version was combined with the Unlocked novella, which I rated a 4, I have averaged the scores on Booklikes to a 3.5.