Human.4 by Mike A. Lancaster
(Also called 0.4 in I think the UK, but the only Kindle Edition I can find is called that, too, and it's only 6 bucks so, hey, who cares about the difference, really?)
Published: March 8th, 2011 by EgmontUSA, and January 3rd, 2011 by Egmont UK. I think.
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Page Count: 232 in my ARC but it might vary in the finished copies.
Part of a series? YES. The sequel will be called 1.4 in the UK or The Future We Left Behind in the US and it was out in May in the UK and will be out November in the US.
Summary (from goodreads): 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.
Review: This book freaked. Me. Out. I haven't been freaked out by a book like this in I don't know how long. It wasn't the something's-going-to-jump-out-at-you scary but a slow-building level of pure creepiness. It was weird and creepy and freaky and really, really good.
Plot: *points at summary* Spoilers, you know.
Characters: There were basically four main characters in Human.4. Two adults, and two teenagers, all four of whom were hypnotised. The book was narrated by Kyle who was pretty much just your average fifteen (and a half) year old boy. Granted, it was one that was having really weird things happening to him, but he was still pretty much a normal kid.
The other teenager, Lilly, who was hypnotized, I didn't think that I liked her at first. I thought she was a bit of a jerk, but that turned out to be how she dealt with the fear of the strange situation they woke up to. And then I felt kind of bad about judging her XD The funny thing, though, was that I did feel like maybe her character wasn't explored as much it could have been. It's kind of weird how the difference is between male-narrated YA books and female-narrated YA books about that, huh?
Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: There wasn't really anything bad that I could point out.
PG-13 stuff: A bit of language, but not a ton. Like I said, though, creepy as heck.
Cover comments: Okay. Can we please talk about this cover for a minute? There are little tentacle thingies growing out of his HAND. That is fa-reaking disturbing.
And I love it. I think it fits the tone of the book perfectly, I love the colour tone of the whole cover, and I think it would be very friendly towards boys who are a bit shy towards the normal trend of YA book covers. Which sounds weird. But, basically, I read it today and bought a copy today for my 18 year old cousin for next Christmas because I think he'll like it and the cover won't embarass him. (Also there was a sweet deal for the paperback on Book Depository.)
Conclusion: Did I mention that this is told as though tapes were found in the future by the author and that there are little extras throughout the book, like definitions of things that they wouldn't know then? I think that's awesome and really fun, but also makes it just that little bit creepier. You know? I read Human.4 in just a few hours and I very much recommend this one. Can't wait for the sequel! Four out of five roses.
Sorry this is a bit short!!
Peace and cookies,