by John Scalzi
Series: Lock In #2
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Length: 8 hours and 52 minutes
Genres: Science Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
John Scalzi returns with Head On, the standalone follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Lock In. Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, Head On brings Scalzi's trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.
Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.
Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.
Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.
Head On by John Scalzi is the companion follow up to Lock In. I was excited to return to this science fiction world altered by a virus known as Haden’s syndrome. Head On has us tagging along with FBI Agent and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane. Narrated by Will Wheaton Scalzi transported me and I became caught up in this procedural crime novel. Scalzi delivered a witty, clever mystery that fed my inner nerd, piqued my curiosity and had me laughing out loud.
The reason Hilketa is so popular is that the players score points through simulated decapitation and go after each other with melee weapons. It’s team gladiatorial combat, on a football field, with a nerdy scoring system. It’s all the violence every other team sport wishes it could have, but can’t, because people would actually die.
Five reasons to grab Head On
- You loved getting your geek on, but want the technology delivered in layman’s terms. Scalzi is masterful with world-building and has created a fascinating dystopian world that feels realistic and believable. The reader quickly comprehends the Haden virus and new technological advancements make the leap to this world seem grounded.
- If you love procedural crime novels, you will love tagging along with FBI Agents Chris Shane and his partner, Leslie Vann. The two are investigating the death of a Hilketa player who dies during the game. Clues lead them to scandal and corporate greed all while providing near-death experiences, witness tampering and Shane losing one-two-many Threeps (machines that Hadens’ move around with).
- You appreciate witty humor, brilliant detective work, and strong characters. I like Agent Shane; he is direct and to the point. Scalzi lets the reader be a part of Chris’s thought process as he works the case but also gives us moments with his family, friends and the daily trials of living with Haden. Secondary characters from suspects to associates added depth and further fleshed out the plot.
- The case was riveting with plenty of twists, turns, and false leads. During the investigation, it showcased how the corporate world uses laws not specifically intended for them to pad their bottom line. It was a relevant topic and added believability to the case.
- Wil Wheaton narrated, and he is perfect for this series and characters. His wide range of voices both male and female, pacing and tone enhanced an already brilliant story. His narration took the story to the next level. If you’d prefer you can listen to the story narrated by Amber Benson who does a stunning job.
The world, characters and action-packed mystery have me hoping we will visit this world again soon!Head On by John Scalzi the companion follow up to Lock In was fast-paced and brilliantly narrated by Will Wheaton #JIAM2018 #loveaudiobooks #sci-fi #mystery Click To Tweet
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