Saturday, May 28, 2011


We are always waiting breathlessly for the latest and greatest technology.  It seems like computers, communication devices, and software programs are updated almost daily.  Having the most up-to-date version often has us standing in line. 

What if humans could be updated?  Would we be as excited if there were new versions of humans?  And what about humans who for some reason missed the latest update?

Kyle and four others at the Millgrove annual talent show volunteered to be hypnotized.  Kyle isn't really worried since the star of the act is a fellow teen named Danny who usually performs a fairly unsuccessful magic act each year.  The four volunteers take the stage and Danny begins his act. 

A short time later the volunteers awake to a small town crowd filled with their friends and relatives, but something is different - very different.  Kyle, Lilly, Mrs. O'Donnell, and Mr. Peterson are facing an audience frozen in time.  Everyone watching the performance is sitting, unmoving on the village green.  Kyle and the others approach individuals but receive no response when they attempt to communicate.

Mr. Peterson seems to be in shock so Kyle, Lilly, and Mrs. O'Donnell go in search of answers.  Within an hour the town seems to be back to normal or at least the frozen residents have resumed activity and headed toward their homes.  However, what Kyle experiences at home is far from his normal family life.  His parents and brother are moving again, and they look normal, but there is something not right about the way they interact.  Whispered conversations and an unexpected visit from the family physician, cause Kyle to be even more suspicious.

The four volunteers all experience abnormal behavior by friends and family and decide they need to stick together.  They stumble across the truth at a local farm but can hardly believe what they are seeing.  It is clear that they are the only ones left of their kind.

Author Mike A. Lancaster takes readers into a frightening version of the future.  Humans have been upgraded to a newer version; however, four individuals have been left behind.  The upgraded humans seem happy enough, although they have some disturbing new characteristics.  Lancaster presents his story through cassette tapes recorded by Kyle.  The message disturbing left on the tapes will have readers looking at the technology around them very differently.  HUMAN.4 is perfect for dystopian and sci fi fans.

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