Monday, February 28, 2011

Human.4 by Michael A. Lancaster

We don’t know what happened to Kyle Straker.  All there is left is a cassette tape.  Old technology – worthless in today’s society of the 21st century and the upgrades we’ve done…

For Kyle, it all started on a summer day in the small village of Millgrove.  The local talent show, a tradition for this town of 1,000, was about to start, and Kyle, his best friend Simon, and Simon’s girlfriend Lilly wanted to see if Danny Birnie could actually hypnotize people.  But no one volunteered, so Kyle did. 

It was this decision that propelled him into the unbelievable, enough to drive a person insane…

When Kyle comes out of his hypnotic state, he realizes something isn’t right.  Every one on the green isn’t moving.  Televisions, telephones, and computers aren’t working.  Weird green symbols flash onto the screens of  the computer he checks – it looks more like an alphabet, but he isn’t sure. 

And then the village awakens.  And it’s what they’ve become.  Human or inhuman?  And what about Kyle, Lilly and the other two that were hypnotized?  What did they miss? But more importantly, what have they themselves become? 

Kyle soon pieces together the only parts he knows how to and what he and the others discover is something they can’t even comprehend.  But Danny, their off-kilter friend knows the truth, and he gives them a choice.  Follow or be erased….

Lancaster takes dystopia to a new level in this science fiction thriller that’s sure to catch the attention of the reader.  The plot line is quick and will definitely grab the reader’s attention from the very first page.  Lancaster pulls together an assortment of writing devices, which only lends to the “authenticity” of this book, which is actually the oldest form of communication for those who haven’t been upgraded.  From a dictionary, to expert analyses, from flashbacks taken from the cassette tape, to the editor’s note, all of these are combined within the novel to slowly build tension for the reader, making it one of those books that can’t be put down.  Excellent for junior high and high school collections – it won’t disappoint sci-fi readers!

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