Lock in

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Lock in
"Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves "locked in"--fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. One per cent doesn't seem like a lot. But in the United States, that's 1.7 million people "locked in"...including the President's wife and daughter. Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, "The Agora, " in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can "ride" these people and use their bodies as if they were their own. This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse....John Scalzi's Lock In is a novel of our near future, from one of the most popular authors in modern science fiction"--

Published: New York, NY :, Tor,, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780765375865
Branch Call Number: F SCA
Characteristics: 336 pages ;,22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 04, 2015
  • peasworth rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A detective story told in a society with robot avatars. The environment is as interesting as the plot. It left me wondering about what else could happen in this interesting world. I enjoyed the book and found the story picked up well throughout. I did not struggle to finish this one.

Jan 30, 2015
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Interesting book! Crimes committed by people who are under the control of others. Are they who they say they are? And who is ultimately responsible?

Dec 27, 2014
  • vmccreedy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Agreed! @augsburgerin I was intrigued right away by the mystery, and it was a well put together police procedural. Also enjoyed the humour.

Dec 23, 2014
  • augsburgerin rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A very interesting premise and a satisfying mystery.

Oct 22, 2014
  • JimmyGman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Scalzi is amazing. If you like his style, especially "Redshirts" and "The Human Division", this novel is for you. Let's hope Vann and Shane come back to solve another mystery using threeps and other Haden devices. Great stuff.

Sep 25, 2014
  • mexicanadiense rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Such a great and engrossing mind-trip/thrill ride you don't even notice some of the major contrivances until well after you've motored through reading it in 2 days. Top notch for the genre, or any genre.

Sep 25, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really, really enjoyed this. It's a great sci-fi/tech novel (a lot there maybe for the non computer/coder inclined but I think it's all explained really well), a mystery/thriller/police procedural (murder! conspiracy! justice!), and also is a great dystopian book in its own way.

In this world it has been 25 years since the fictional Haden's Syndrome first appeared. Most people get a flu and recover but 1% of the population end up 'locked in' - meaning that they are alive and aware but completely unable to react or interact to the world around them. 'Hadens' participate in society through Personal Transports (threeps, after C-3PO from Star Wars). So, yes, their consciousness is able to go from threep to an online sort of world and back again - it's a lot of pseudoscience but really interesting and done really well. These people however do face their challenges aside from the obvious - government funding is drying up for one, and they get their own kind of hate crimes sent their way as well. It's a well done social commentary all in all and it comes off very realistically. I found myself knowingly rolling my eyes a lot.

A murder happens and our two FBI agents (one a Haden, one not) have a special case here since identifying the murderer could be hard. Another way Hadens get around is through the use of Integrator - people who allow their bodies to be borrowed for a time.

This is a fantastic, gripping, realistic story. Admittedly, this hits a lot of my favourite genres but it really does a fantastic job of selling you this world. You may feel a little lost in the first couple of pages but everything is revealed to you instead of lectured to you soon enough.

It's a fantastic book, really. If you like any combination of the genres listed above I urge you to give it a try.

Jul 20, 2014
  • stephaniedchase rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Entertaining blend of science fiction and police procedural, with Scalzi's trademark humor. Thoroughly enjoyable -- and also terrifying.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at DBRL


Explore Further

Browse the Shelf
Find Series Titles and Other Books Like This With NoveList

Subject Headings