Thursday, 17 September 2015


Release Date: 06/08/15
Publisher: Gollancz


Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. 4% suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And 1% find themselves 'locked in' - fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

1% doesn't seem like a lot. But in the US that's 1.7 million people 'locked in' ... including the President's wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can fully restore the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, 'The Agora', where the locked-in can interact with other humans, whether locked-in ornot. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, allowing those who are locked in to occasionally 'ride' these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse ...


John has always been a Science Fiction Author that I’ve had a lot of reading pleasure from with my favourite book by him being, to date, Old Man’s War. As with that title, John’s writing has great pace, cracking prose and characters that just step off the pages.

Here within this title, the reader is treated to a story that feels all too real and could be something that we fear could happen to the population within a few years. Back this up with a “What If…” scenario and all round you know its going to be high octane discovery right from the get go.

All round a book that I just couldn’t put down, demonstrating why Scalzi is an absolute must go to for me as a reader.

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