Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.
Spoilers for this book follow Let me sum up my feelings on this book in one word: conflicted. Scalzi writes smart commercial SF that is not a pain to read, and I usually quite enjoy his books without feeling like they’re necessarily doing anything groundbreaking. I zipped through this one, and though he was doing interesting things. But I called not just the solution to the mystery, but parts of how it was done. I realized quite early on that Chris wasn’t gendered, and that Marcus Shane was black, and the treatment of both of these aspects didn’t really work for me. I feel like I’m in the minority here, and I would be interested in non-binary/genderqueer voices on this book. But, even if Chris doesn’t identify as either male or female, that’s still an identity; that identity still has bearing on that person’s interactions with other people. And, perhaps more fundamentally, I felt like Lock In was telling an expected story. I feel a bit weird saying that, considering that the protagonist is black and disabled and probably genderqueer, and those things don’t get enough representation. But compared to Leckie or Hurley? This is just the same old story with new characters slotted in. It was entertaining enough, but it felt safe. It felt like the lowest difficulty setting.