Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

  • by John Scalzi
  • Narrated by Amber Benson
  • 11 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

2 editions. 2 narrators. 1 thrilling story. You can enjoy Wil Wheaton's narration here.
"I love working with Audible, in no small part because they’re committed to doing what’s right, both for my books, and the people who listen to those books. There's a really excellent reason for Lock In to have two entirely different versions, so when it came time to make the audiobook, Audible did an ingenious thing: they asked both Wil Wheaton and Amber Benson to record entire versions of the book. As the author, I’m impressed with Audible’s commitment to my narrative - and I’m geeking out that both Wil and Amber are reading my book. This is fantastic." (John Scalzi)
A blazingly inventive near-future thriller from the best-selling, Hugo Award-winning John Scalzi.
Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.
A quarter of a century later, in a world shaped by what's now known as "Haden's syndrome", rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann. The two of them are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder at the Watergate Hotel, with a suspect who is an "integrator" - someone who can let the locked in borrow their bodies for a time. If the Integrator was carrying a Haden client, then naming the suspect for the murder becomes that much more complicated.
But "complicated" doesn't begin to describe it. As Shane and Vann began to unravel the threads of the murder, it becomes clear that the real mystery - and the real crime - is bigger than anyone could have imagined.
BONUS AUDIO: Audible's audio edition of Lock In contains the bonus novella, Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden's Syndrome, written by John Scalzi and narrated by a full cast.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2014 - I'm a huge sci-fi listener, and when I heard that John Scalzi was coming out with a new novel in August, there was no question that it was going to be my pick for the month. The premise: In the near-future, a mass contagion called Haden's Syndrome sweeps the world. 99% of those affected experience normal flu-like symptoms, but 1% of the world is left "locked in" – trapped with a fully functional mind inside a non-functioning body. Technological advancements have made it possible for these people to move through the world using artificial android-like bodies but often at the sacrifice of being viewed as less than human. Lock In takes place about twenty years after the outbreak, and focuses on Chris Shane's first day on the job as an FBI agent (Chris is one of the world's most famous victims of the disease). I've always admired Scalzi for is his ability to write compelling, multi-dimensional characters of all genders, and in this book, he does something truly novel: he never specifies a gender for Chris. As a result, we're rewarded with two great versions of this audiobook - one narrated by Wil Wheaton, and one by Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This is a thrilling, highly original, genre-bending story that will appeal to mystery & thriller and sci-fi fans alike. —Sam, Audible Editor

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What the Critics Say

"Hugo-winner Scalzi successfully shifts away from space opera with this smart, thoughtful near-future thriller resonant with the themes of freedom, ethics, and corporate greed….This powerful novel will intrigue and entertain both fans and newcomers." (Publishers Weekly)
"The novel--which contains plenty of action, great character development, vivid and believable worldbuilding and a thought-provoking examination of disability culture and politics--is definitely worth the ride." (Kirkus)
"Another brilliant novel from a writer who has quickly become one of the genre’s most successful and intriguing practitioners." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Intriguing premise wasted on average cop story

As with past works by Mr Scalzi, Lock In is a light and entertaining story that doesn't quite do justice to its compelling underpinnings. In this case, Mr Scalzi has fashioned a world in which 1% of the population are physically paralyzed and escape their bodies by directing their awareness and cognitive function into alternate frameworks. Some choose a non-spatial internet; some choose synthetic android bodies; a few choose bodies of "Integrators"—healthy humans who lease-out their bodies on an hourly basis. Unfortunately Mr Scalzi treats the first category merely as a MacGuffin and thereby severely limits the novel's potential as a work of true speculative fiction. Instead the reader is treated to a standard-issue cop story with a pleasant veneer. Lock In is told competently but without the liveliness that elevated some of his past novels. Mr Scalzi proved to be deft at writing dialogue for lawyers in Fuzzy Nation and fast-talking agents in Agent to the Stars, but his ear for dialogue has failed him here: the cop-talk is stale and predictable. A more adventurous book could have survived such weaknesses, but Lock In is timid in its scope and never quite recovers from its failings.

The narrator's sex is never known, so the option of listening to a male or female performer makes some sense. I alternated between Ms Benson's and Mr Wheaton's performances, and for whatever reason, the narrator became female in my mind, so perhaps Ms Benson's voice was the more significant for me. Mr Wheaton, on the other hand, is the brisker of the two and thereby imparts some extra energy into the story. All things being equal, I would recommend his performance.
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- H James Lucas

Love Amber's Narration

I'm only a third of the way through this book but I felt obliged to say that Amber Benson's narration is fantastic.
If you want a narrator who does character voices and dramatizes a novel, choose Amber Benson's version.
If you want a narrator who has a great speaking voice but has a drier, quicker delivery without any character voices, choose Wil Wheaton.
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- Anthony

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-26-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios