0.4 by Mike Lancaster, and my new love of Sci-Fi

 

This book is amazing. That’s not an overstatement, this book literally amazed me.

I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan – Personally I prefer Dystopian – but I can honestly say that this is one of the most thought-provoking, suspense-filled and exciting books that I have ever had the pleasure to read. One of the best things about this book, is that it’s brilliance was completely unexpected. I didn’t give much thought to the cover design – it didn’t play a huge part in drawing me towards the book – but now that I’ve read it, the cover makes a lot more sense. The cover of the edition I read showed two hands, one on the back, and one on the front of the book. These two hands were connected by what seems like strands of skin. It’s remarkably simple, but it works really well.

It was actually the name of the book “0.4” that enticed me to pick it from the shelves in the library. As with the cover design, you can’t understand the importance of this title until you have read the book. It’s quite an unusual title, which adds to the general sci-fi feeling of 0.4.

This book is set in partly in the future, and partly in present times. 0.4 is told from the perspective of a scientist in the future. In the future, a set of taped has been found, which describe the incredible story of Kyle Straker, and how his world completely changed.

One day, at his town’s annual talent show, Kyle volunteers to be hypnotised, along with his friend Lilly, and two adults called Mr Peterson and Kate.  When they wake up from their hypnosis, they find that everybody else in the town – apart from the four of them – has been frozen. The phone lines are down, as well as the internet and the television. They walk around for a while, and when they return to the site of the talent show, they find that the world has woken up again, and that the people are unfrozen.

The four of them are relieved, and go back to their separate lives, thinking that everything is back to normal. However, they couldn’t be more wrong – everything has changed. As the story is told from Kyle’s perspective, we see how he quickly figures out that there is something wrong with parents, and the other citizens of his town. The only people who haven’t been changed are the four who were hypnotised. And they are the only people who don’t know what happened. So they must find out.

Kyle preserved his story on a set of tapes, which were found in the future, and are a source of study about how people in the past acted, and about the event the Kyle describes. The book is Kyle’s story put to paper, with some commentary.

I’m still not sure why this book made such an impression on me. It may be the storyline – all the unexpected twists and turns – Or it may be the fact that, if this story was true, we wouldn’t know. Or it may just be that I’ve discovered a new love for Sci-Fi. Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed reading this unexpected gem of a book, and I hope that more people discover it. I’ve never heard of this book, or the author, so I’m presuming that it’s not hugely well-known.

In my opinion 0.4 should be a bestseller. It’s absolutely brilliant, and completely blew me away. 5/5.

 

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