Author: Mike A. Lancaster
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Series: Point 4 (Book 1)
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 240 Pages
ISBN-10: 1606843095 (Egmont USA)
ISBN-13: 978-1606843093 (Egmont USA)
Reviewed by: Michelle
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?
Quick & Dirty: A science fiction thriller that brings you on an adventure so out-of-this world, you will question what is reality and what is not.
Opening Sentence: When Danny Birnie told us that he had hypnotized his sister we all thought he was mad.
Human .4 by Mike A. Lancaster is a science fiction story that I will not forget. While I’ve read many in the same genre, there is something about Human.4 that stands out. It may be the suspenseful scenes, or even the wonderful writing by Lancaster. Either way, I’m glad that I had a chance to read this, and hope that I won’t be having any nightmares now. *looks around*
Human.4 are a retelling of events that happened one summer. The story consists of transcripts of recorded sessions by Kyle Straker. On a summer vacation, Kyle, his best friend Simon, Simon’s girlfriend Lily, and their friend Danny were hanging out like young teens do. A tale of a successful hypnotizing sparked an idea to repeat the act during a talent show. But the results left me on the edge of my seat, filled with suspense and so much thrill, that I couldn’t believe someone had imagined the story.
Human.4 takes place in a futuristic alternate universe taking events from the past, all revealed by the contents of the tapes. I would say that a good portion of the events are flashbacks, and in true science fiction form, I, as the reader, questioned what was allowed in this world. Lancaster allows for the reader to be provoked through different emotions, thoughts, and actions, each defined not only by the main character, but the supporting characters themselves.
Kyle was a forward thinker, strong minded and clear of where he wanted to go and definitely sure of who he was as a person. At times, I would have classified it as reckless, but others? Well, he was brave and not lacking gumption, that’s for sure. Lancaster wrote him very clearly, never allowing for the reader to question why he did something at any given moment. As Kyle retells the events of the summer to us, and as I read about Kyle, I slowly became obsessed with what came next.
Lancaster’s world in Human.4 was confined within one room, yet so expansive within the confessional tapes. It was interesting to be brought back to each moment, but yet suddenly reawaken to the reality that this was all told and recorded on tape. Actions occur in the present, but told in the past. Unfamiliarity of the unknown raises questions, but each event felt familiar. Lancaster keeps you on the edge of your seat, and sometimes you, as a reader, will wonder where you just went and where you came from.
Suspense, science fiction, thriller. These are all good adjectives to describe Lancaster’s Human.4. I believe there is something for everyone in this book, and I for one cannot wait to read the next one. The narrative direction was clear and enjoyable, and on a personal level, it was just fun. It was easy to lose myself in this story and I was glad to lose sleep just to finish it. I highly urge you to read this, and then the next.
The relief in her voice was obvious.
I felt a harsh twinge of jealousy. yeah, I know, not exactly an honorable reaction, and I’m not proud.
“If he’s alive, there’s hope,” I offered, and Lilly’s face brightened.
“But how do we wake them up?” she asked. “We were the ones who were supposed to be hypnotized. Did it go wrong? Did Danny hypnotize everyone else? Even himself?”
I was going to attempt an answer, when my train of thought was interrupted by a loud wailing sound behind us.
Point 4 Series:
1. Human .4
FTC Advisory: EgmontUSA provided me with a copy of Human .4. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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