0.4 by Mike Lancaster

by Mike Lancaster
ISBN-13: 9-781405-253048
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it

“My name is Kyle Straker and I don’t exist anymore.”

So begins the story of Kyle Straker, recorded on 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 is a lie, does that mean we are too?

0.4 is such a neat book. I’ve read my share of humans-as-computers, and the way Mike Lancaster tackles the idea is very cool. I have to say right up front, though, that the book’s format had me immediately thinking back to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (both books are written with the idea that the book is a transcript of found audio tapes). However, the inserted notes, forwards and afterwords of 0.4 was quite different. so though the concept is the same, the execution was unique.

The whole idea of the book is that it is a transcription of the Straker Tapes, and account left by Kyle Straker in the early 21st century, that details the events of the time period. From the first page, we realize that the future if quite different from our present. The story follows Kyle, Lilly and two adults, Kate and Mr. Peterson as they realize that something has happened to their town – in fact, something has happened to the whole world – and they have been ‘left behind,’ as it were.

The atmosphere of the writing as Kyle tells his story is full of anxiety, fear and sadness. Kyle’s tapes are a plea to the world to not forget those who had been left after the events that took place (it’s hard not to give anything away!). The imagery, the tiny ‘footnotes’ inserted by the author explaining everyday things that are no longer around (like reality tv! hehe), and the broken or missing parts of the narrative (from cut off tapes and interruptions)_all lend the story a realistic quality. A great story for anyone who likes an apocalypse, dystopia and maybe some out-of-this-world explanations will really enjoy 0.4!

0.4 is part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by The Story Siren.