I bought this book on a recommendation, and knew very little about it. I knew that the protagonist suffered ‘lock in’, wherein their mind was conscious, but they couldn’t move their body at all, and that their gender was never specified. Both of these things appealed to me, but I was expecting something more along the lines of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
In actual fact, it’s a high-tec sci-fi with robots, cranial implants, and complex programming. And I’m glad I didn’t know this about it, because, if I had, I would never have picked it up. And I would have missed out.
I’m not much of a hard sci-fi fan, and I’m not much of a tech lover either. I got my first smart phone little over a year ago, and barely use it. In fact, I barely ever carry it on me even. So, what with people transporting their consciousness into robots, virtual worlds, or even other people, this book was a lot for me to get my head round.
But, it was worth it. By about a third of the way in, I was absorbed in the world, with all of its technicalities.
The story follows two FBI agents, one being our locked in protagonist, unravelling a very complex, and techie, crime. But everything was explained as the case was worked through, without those explanations being patronising, and I was never left feeling stupid while the characters realised something I still failed to grasp. It’s pitched at just the right level for both genre fans, and those less familiar with the genre.
This is a high-pace, high-action crime novel set in a highly imaginative and well-imagined future. Even if robots aren’t really your thing, it’s well worth a read, and you might just discover a new genre you never knew you loved.