My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sum it up in a sentence (or two): In a future where 1% of the world's population suffers from Haden's syndrome, a disease that leaves people of all ages, races, and genders unable to move or speak, people are still adapting to the technologies that allow "Hadens" to interact in the physical world. Others have adapted all too well, and are figuring out ways to use the technology for economical and political gain.
First thoughts: I actually didn't take any notes while reading Lock In, partially due to my own busyness these past few weeks, but mostly because I just wanted to read. It's a short story, both in actual book length and in the amount of time during which the story takes place (about a week). We get a lot of information in that time, and I feel like I got to know the characters pretty well. I'd still recommend reading the prequel (which I did after finishing the book), just for more context.
Diversity and Density: The most notable thing about the diversity of Lock In's characters is that it's never really noted; it just is. People are minorities without having to say it, and without that having to "mean" something. A character's sexuality or race is just that. Similarly, Lock In has a lot of dense ideas about diversity, equality, technology, politics, and the lucrative business of healthcare, but the novel itself isn't dense. These themes and ideas are what they are to the story, and readers get to extract their own conclusions (or await a sequel where more gets explained).
Favorite characters: the whole cast was entertaining, even the villains. I like that there weren't any characters explicitly like me, but I could still relate and I still enjoyed the story.
Recommended for: fans of crime dramas and sci-fi (aka Blade Runner + Law and Order), mystery lovers, medical researchers, and robot enthusiasts.
Final thoughts: John Scalzi is now on my to-read list. I want more people I know to read this book so I can ask them what they think about it and give them my theories for some of the creative decisions Scalzi takes. If you need a story to get you out of a reading slump, I recommend Lock In.
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