Book Review: Human.4

Book Review: Human.4Human.4 by Mike A. Lancaster
Published by Egmont USA on March 8th 2011
Pages: 240

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.


Human.4 is just WOW! I finished reading the novel a few days ago, and my mind is still trying to process everything. The tale is told from an academic-type point of view by an editor who is "helping" his society to understand the previous. This editor, our author, has found a set of cassettee tapes that are from our society during one of the most important events in human history.

For me, Human.4 had just about everything that I look for in a "what-if" type science fiction novel. Original plot.. great characters.. and message that will have you contemplating everything for days. The first thing that you will notice about the novel is how everything is set up. It is one word: genius. Lancaster starts the novel by introducing himself as the editor, gives a brief backstory, and we are off.

Early on, I knew I was just going to love Human.4. My first indication being the academic / fun facts about Kyle's society that are sprinkled throughout the novel. Lancaster, the editor, has taken random topics from Kyle's tapes and given the reader a breakdown of what the new society believes this means. For example, there is much debate over who or what the Teletubbies are. Based on Lancaster's side notes, they are believed to be a form of Gods and Goddess. Too funny, right?

While much of Human.4 was hard to swallow as a real possibility, it was really fun to think of human evolution in another way. Lancaster has certainly given me plenty to think about in his amazing debut. I fell head over heels in love with his writing style and humor. And I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. Highly recommend.

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4 responses to “Book Review: Human.4

  1. This book looks great! Another sci-fi YA book you might like is Genesis by Bernard Beckett–some of the things you liked about Human.4 sound similar to Genesis.

  2. Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)

    Teletubbies are gods and goddesses? That officially makes me want to read this one. Great review!

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