Author: Mike A. Lancaster
Genre: Young Adult SF
Kyle Straker volunteered to be hypnotized at the annual community talent show, expecting the same old lame amateur acts. But when he wakes up, his world will never be the same. Televisions and computers no longer work, but a strange language streams across their screens. Everyone’s behaving oddly. It’s as if Kyle doesn’t exit.
Is this nightmare a result of the hypnosis? Will Kyle wake up with a snap of fingers to roars of laughter? Or is this something much more sinister?
Narrated on a set of found cassette tapes at an unspecified point in the future, Human.4 is an absolutely chilling look at technology gone too far.
I picked Human.4 by Mike A. Lancaster up in paperback because I thought my son would like to read it. He’s not a reluctant reader, but he doesn’t read unless I make him do it for homeschool. I like science fiction so I typically choose SF for him as well. Oddly enough, he’s never once complained about my choices.
So I picked up Human.4 for him, handed it over, and he read it. I asked him what he thought and here’s basically how that went:
ME: So, did you like it?HIM: Yeah.ME: What was it about?HIM: Read it and find out.ME: Was it like the Matrix?HIM: No.ME: Like Body Snatchers?HIM: No. I’m not gonna tell you, so read it and find out.
Yup. Did I mention he was 15?
So I did read it. It’s a quick read, only 231 pages in my PB copy. And I did like it. My teenager did mention that it started slow, and I agree. It took a little long to get going in my opinion, but it picked up and got interesting once the action started.
I don’t enjoy doing plot run-downs, so I’m not going to do that here, I’m just going to let you know what I did and didn’t like. Here we go:
Young adult science fiction – there is not a lot of this around so I enjoy the fact that it simply exists.
The premise is actually quite well-thought out I think. I have two science degrees, so I look for that stuff. I don’t mind suspending belief in certain places, but there are little details that must add up or I can’t get past it. Nothing in this book required me to suspend belief. I like that a lot.
It was a clean read for my teen boy. I’m the last one to talk about clean reads with my nasty little Junco character in my books, but I do actually prefer that my son read something with less profanity.
Changes that might make it better:
I did not care for the commentary. I felt it pulled me out of the novel, however, my son never mentioned this and he’s the one that counts.
That’s pretty much it.
I asked him if he wanted the sequel and he did, but only in paperback, so I had to order it from TBD. We’re waiting for it to come right now and then he’ll read that. (And so will I because he’ll refuse to tell me anything about it!)