Search for Hu banner ad

Book Review: Head On

HeadOnCoverTo some left with nothing, winning becomes everything

If HBO needs a near future season for True Detective, the world of Lock In is it, and Head On is the sci-fi buddy cop book you didn’t know you needed.

In this follow up to his hit book Lock In, John Scalzi takes us deeper into this near future world where 1% of the Earth’s population are unable to move and are “locked in” to their bodies. People afflicted with this disease, Haden’s Syndrome, use robot hosts to interact with the world outside their bodies.

Told in the first person, our main character FBI Agent Chris Shane, a person with HS, and his lead partner veteran agent Leslie Vann investigate a tragic incident in the popular game of Hilketa, a sport that is a mashup of football and gladiator matches born out of HS. From there the two agents travel down the rabbit hole of deception and murder surrounding the future of this sport.

As an exercise in world building, Scalzi delivers a masterclass creating a world that isn’t just about folks who need to use robot avatars. He has created the science behind the disease, the tech to overcome it, fleshed out the laws and economics for people with HS. He has developed the social etiquette of the afflicted and of course created the game Hilketa that this book centers on.

Head On is a fast paced thriller that sucks you in and Scalzi’s signature dialog keeps you engaged. If I’m ever murdered, I want Agents Shane and Vann on the case.

Head On will be released in hardcover and digital on April 17th 2018 by Tor Books.


Tor Books provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Almost American