Human.4, by Mike A. Lancaster
Fourteen-year-old Kyle Straker’s story is told via outdated cassette tapes found in the distant future. At a local talent show, Kyle and three others are hypnotized. When they awaken, everyone else around them has changed. Telephones and computers don’t work. Kyle missed humanity’s upgrade, and now he’s obsolete.
Told in a first person narrative through a recorded message, the story unfolds in an eerie and suspenseful way. Kyle is a sympathetic boy, willing to risk unknown danger to help others. As the truth of what really happened to everyone slowly unravels, we learn along with Kyle. With a zombie-like population, intense suspense continues to build throughout to a fun and satisfying conclusion. Fast-paced and a short read, my only complaint was that it was over so quickly. Geared towards young adults, the story has a definite feel of Invasion of the Body Snatchers that adult science fiction fans will enjoy as well. This thrilling debut was pure, creepy enjoyment from beginning to end.
Human.4 releases from Egmont Books on March 8, 2011.