Last year I listened to Wil Wheaton narrate John Scalzi’s Lock In. Later in the year, angry dimples told me that Amber Benson had also narrated Lock In and that her narration was very good. I listened to it and agreed. As much as I enjoyed the Wil Wheaton narration, I liked Benson’s even better. And then we found out that both Wheaton and Benson were narrating versions of Scalzi’s follow up novel, Head On. We agreed, Benson first, Wheaton later.
I enjoyed Head On quite a bit. In my Lock In review, I commented that I wouldn’t mind a series of Chris Shane/Leslie Vann procedurals, and that is exactly what Scalzi has given us. There are a bunch of returning characters. Shane and Vann have a more comfortable relationship. We get to explore the world of Hadens a little more.
Scalzi still isn’t a fan of capitalist corporate greed. The murder that draws Shane and Vann into an investigation is really about corporations and greed. Now that the government has passed the Abrams Kettering bill, which slashed financial support for Hadens, the companies that built their business models on taking advantage of Hadens related tax breaks and subsidies are scrambling to adapt and find new markets for their previously Haden centric products and services.
After reading books I had to think about, I appreciated listening to one that quickly moved me into a mystery with quipped banter and a fascinating world. If I have a quibble it’s that the antagonist’s motivations didn’t gel for me. It’s fine though. Shane and Vann playing good cop/bad cop makes up for it.