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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: 0.4 by Mike Lancaster

0.4 (Point 4, #1)

Alternate Title: Human.4
Publisher: 2011 Egmont Publishing
Pages: 240
Series: Point 4 #1

"It's a brave new world. 'My name is Kyle Straker. And I don't exist anymore.' So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on to old audio tapes. You might think these tapes are a hoax. But perhaps they contain the history of a past world...If what the tapes say are true, it means that everything we think we know is a lie. And if everything we know is a lie does that mean that we are, too?"

I hadn't previously heard of this book before I saw it at Half Price Books about a week ago. I will say that the only reason I bought it was because it sounded interesting, and it was only $3. So I thought to myself "What the heck. If it sucks at least I wouldn't have spent a lot of money on it." Let me just say, I would have gladly paid more money for this book. 

The story centers around Kyle Straker as he recounts the mysterious happenings one day in his small English village. One day, everything just stops. And then changes. The audience is told the story through Kyle's narration on old audio files with the occasional piece of information by the person who head them and decided to write them down. There were many through the novel that I mostly found funny. One example being an explanation of teletubbies. The writer called them 'toddler gods', if I'm remembering right. 

One aspect of the novel that could get annoying to people is that because Kyle's story is recorded on audio tapes, sometimes fractions of his story is missing. Kyle didn't realize that the tapes had stopped recording his words and he never remedied that. I actually thought this game the book a feeling of authenticity. And a little mystery. I think if we were to hear every word without a little bit of problems would have made the story seem less real.

I mainly liked this story because of the way it was written and the ideas it posed. *SPOILER* What happened on the day everything went still was that the whole human population, except a random few, got an 'upgrade'. After a few days they would no longer be able to see the fraction of the humans that did not receive the upgrade. Kyle was in that fraction. It was his story about how much it sucked to be forgotten by everyone that you knew. To no longer be able to go home to his family. He was alone, constantly surrounded by people that couldn't see him, and the occasional person that could.

Oh, and the cover is directly related to the plot. It's kinda gross in an awesome way.  

In the end, 0.4 by Mike Lancaster is a haunting novel that I would recommend to anyone who is into Science Fiction. It was a nice, quick read that was really enjoyable. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be reading the sequel "1.4" that is already out. 

-Shawnee Smith

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