by John Scalzi
Tor Books, 2014. 336 pgs. Science Fiction
In a not so distant future, a global flu pandemic strikes, killing hundreds of millions of people. However, the disease is not universally fatal. Those who survive this plague fall into two groups: the Lock-Ins, people whose bodies become totally paralyzed while still retaining full mental capacities; and the Integrators, people who are able to allow a locked-in person to assume control of his or her body for short periods of time. In this brave new world, freshly minted and locked-in FBI agent Chris Shane and his seasoned former Integrator partner solve a bizarre murder.
His books are clever fun reads, and this one is no exception. He does a good take on the current trend in post-apocalyptic novels. His imagined pandemic wipes out millions, but the human race is largely intact. I like the concept of the lock-ins. It makes for a interesting sci-fi take on the future of human existence, coupled with our fascination with robots, virtual/online life, etc. And of course, there is the police procedural, making for a fun, well rounded and engaging read.