A New Kind of Human, A New Kind of Murder: Reviewing Lock In by John Scalzi

Hi everyone! I am very excited to be ticking off another book off of my TBR list with another Scalzi novel. If you are interested, you can check out my review of his other novel Redshirts. This novel also ends my mystery novel kick but this one is a bit different as it falls more in the sci-fi category. You will see in a moment when I talk more about this novel. The terminology is a bit confusing so bear with me but I will do my best to explain everything. Anyways, here is my review of Lock In by John Scalzi.

A dangerous virus, named “Haden’s Syndrome,” swept the globe and caused sufferers to become “locked in.” They were completely aware and alive but couldn’t move or respond. A quarter of a century later, sufferers of Haden’s Syndrome (now just called Hadens) have found ways to function in the world through Integrators – humans who can help Hadens experience the world – or “threeps” – humanoid robots. Rookie FBI Agent Chris Shane (a Haden himself) and his veteran partner Leslie Vann are assigned to the case of an Integrator who appears to have murdered his Haden. As Shane and Vann follow the trails, they come to realize that this is a bigger mystery that involves Hadens and non-Hadens alike. The two find themselves in the middle of a conflict between the “old” human culture and the rising human subculture created by Haden’s Syndrome.

I want to say in advance that the terminology is a bit confusing at first. Scalzi was kind enough to create a little “cheat sheet” in the beginning of the novel in order to clarify his world building. It took me about four chapters before I became familiar with the slang but, after that, I could read the novel with ease. That’s also a good warning for any readers who may not be too familiar with science fiction and the world building in there. However, if you are an avid science fiction reader, then this novel should definitely go on your shelf as should any Scalzi novel. The world he creates is very intricate but cleverly crafted. Scalzi’s characters seem to thrive on their own in this strange world where one percent of the population must rely on other humans or robots in order to lead a normal existence. His main characters, Shane and Vann, have good chemistry and character development. As the story is told through Shane’s point of view, it gives the reader a better change to become familiar with the world of Haden’s. The dialogue is witty and realistic, with all of the new terms flowing seamlessly. There’s something a little cyber-punk about this novel that I enjoyed in particular. If you like murder and technology, then Lock In is the novel for you. Scalzi strikes again with his unique and hilarious writing along with his mashup of mystery and science fiction.

In Space, No One Can Hear You Steal: Reviewing Artemis by Andy Weir

You don’t even know how excited I was to finally get this book. I had been patiently waiting for the longest time for the release date. I don’t know how a bunch of you got a copy ahead of time but I’m glad that I can finally enjoy this novel with the rest of you. I’ve gushed over The Martian enough so it’s time to gush about another book. I will now give you my review of Artemis, Andy Weir’s second ever novel.

Life on the moon is great if you’re rich. If you’re not rich, then it sucks. Jazz Bashara has spent most of her life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, making a living meager living as a porter for the wealthy eccentric businesspeople. When one eccentric businessman offers her an opportunity to get rich quick, Jazz decides to take matters into her own hands in order to escape her crappy life. Soon, Jazz realizes that she is caught up in a much larger conspiracy that puts the entirety of Artemis at risk. Jazz must use her quick wit and tech knowledge in order to save her city and defeat the criminals who seek to control it.

Like I said before, I was so excited to finally read this novel and I was happy with what I had read. Weir incorporates his signature wit and humor into each character he created. It is not a fantastically futuristic book but it is founded in real science, much like The Martian was. I think what makes the setting more interesting is that it does have real science. I’m not a science person by any manes but I was fascinated with Weir’s realistic world he created. Jazz is a funny, sarcastic, and realistic heroine who definitely stands apart. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it for any of you sci-fi lovers out there. Andy Weir’s second novel is a fantastic and hilarious space thriller that will keep you turning the pages.

The Horror Movies Book Tag

It’s October so I might as well do something Halloween-themed. Shout out to Thrice Read for posting this tag on their blog. I welcome you all to do this super spooky tag too.

Zombie Apocalypse: Name a book you would save when civilization ends.

If I were to pick a series, then I would say Harry Potter. If I were to pick a standalone novel, then I would pick The Odyssey.  

zombie

The Vampire: Name a book you would stake through the heart.

The Circle by Dave Eggers pissed me off to no end with its infuriating characters who don’t learn anything at all. I get that the point of the book is that sometimes you can’t escape innovation (good or bad) but I thought that was a little pessimistic.

vampire

Haunted House: A book that still haunts you

The Secret History by Donna Tartt has stuck with me since I read it for the first time, not knowing what I was getting into. It’s easily Tartt’s most quotable book. Bonus: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak also stuck in my mind after I read them.

haunted house

The Psychological Thriller: A book with a twist that you didn’t see coming.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn definitely threw me for a loop. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher also does a great job with plot twists as Hannah tells her story. Bonus: American Gods by Neil Gaiman (that I love) includes some great plot twists as well. Red Shirts by John Scalzi has a really meta plot that messed with me.

psycho

The Creepy Doll: A book that seems innocent but it’s not.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green both begin out innocently enough only to rip your heart out and stomp on it. (I mean, you can say that for most John Green books, though. I can’t say the same for John Steinbeck.)

creepy doll

The Monster: A book that you could barely tackle.

I reviewed The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt before I actually finished because the book was so long, at least for me. I still enjoyed it, though. Admittedly, I’m still not quite finished with IT by Stephen King either.

monster

The Comedy Horror: A book with mixed genres that worked or didn’t work.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver did a really good job mixing a ghost story with a family drama. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is a great combination of supernatural elements and comedy as well.

beetlejuice

The Cliched Teen Horror: A book you found super cliche.

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer was riddled with cliches. I also found An Abundance of Katherines by John Green to be a bit cliche but it wasn’t nearly as bad as Twilight if you ask me.

teen horror

The Demonic Possession: A book that was so gripping that you needed an exorcist to escape it.

The Harry Potter series, The Percy Jackson series, American Gods, The Princess Bride, Looking for Alaska, The Little Friend, The Lost Symbol

exorcist

The Science Fiction: A book you would sacrifice to the aliens for the good of mankind.

I would happily give the aliens The Book Thief and To Kill a Mockingbird in order to illustrate the best and worst parts of humanity.

alien

 

 

 

Boldly Going: Reviewing Redshirts by John Scalzi

There is no denying that science fiction has always been a staple in my life. I remember being younger and watching the original Twilight Zone with my grandpa. As I got older, my tastes evolved. In high school, a good friend introduced me to to the original Star Trek series. I had enjoyed the 2009 reboot so I decided to give it a shot. I was soon thrust into a world of science fiction I had never seen before. It was the kind of science fiction that doesn’t feel the need to obey any rules, made up or not, and there was always some strange moral thrown in there that was actually pretty profound. Knowing my love for Star Trek, my mom got me John Scalzi’s novel and I was soon reminded why I love science fiction so much.

Redshirts, which won Scalzi the Hugo Award for Best Novel, follows Ensign Andrew Dahl as he joins the Capital Ship of the Universal Union, the Intrepid. Dahl is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the team and to explore the universe with the famed Captain Abernathy. However, he and his fellow ensigns begin to realize that there is a deadly pattern of fatalities among the engineering crew members. Dahl and his eclectic group of friends must figure out how to break the cycle and survive their time on the Intrepid. This novel takes an endearing dig into the staple tropes of Star Trek with a dark sense of humor and a fast-paced narrative.

Scalzi’s novel is perfect for any Trekkie or sci-fi fan. The story has a wonderfully sarcastic tone mixed with a plot that gets more meta with each chapter. The characters are just as funny and realistic as far as sci-fi goes. Scalzi keeps you engaged as with dramatic tension as well as intriguing takes on the outer space adventure drama. Redshirts flips the genre on its head with a new perspective and answers the questions about what really happens to the minor characters we don’t take notice of.