Book Reviews, Reviews by AimeeKay

Review: Lockstep by Karl Schroeder

I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Review: Lockstep by Karl SchroederLockstep by Karl Schroeder
Published by: Tor Books on 3/25/2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera, YA
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon

Review Score:
About the Book:

When seventeen-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he’s orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he’s surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still—that he’s been asleep for 14,000 years.

Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Its citizens survive for millennia, traveling asleep on long voyages between worlds. Not only is Lockstep the new center of the galaxy, but Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is still ruled by its founding family: his own.

Toby’s brother Peter has become a terrible tyrant. Suspicious of the return of his long-lost brother, whose rightful inheritance also controls the lockstep hibernation cycles, Peter sees Toby as a threat to his regime. Now, with the help of a lockstep girl named Corva, Toby must survive the forces of this new Empire, outwit his siblings, and save human civilization.

Karl Schroeder's Lockstep is a grand innovation in hard SF space opera.





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So glad I got to read Lockstep! Absolutely awesome! I fell in love with not just the characters and the story, but the whole world that Schroeder has built.


The story is built around Toby McGonigal and the repercussions of a terrible accident that allows him to wake 14000 years into the future.  Everything, but the prologue, is seen from his POV.  However, Toby isn’t the only in depth character on the page.  Everyone around him has their own motives and personal stories.  The thing is, even the bad guys have their own stories.  Stories that make them human, stories that make you actually understand them, even to an extent feel sorry for them. Because of this, I think the ending that Schroeder gives is the best one possible. Of course, I’m not going to tell you what that ending is because I don’t want to ruin it for you!


The Lockstep world is truly amazing. You have the lockstep planets that live time slower than the ‘fast’ worlds around them. They do so by ‘wintering’ over, going to sleep for thirty years than waking up to trade with the planets and civilizations that have arose around them, then returning to sleep. These small touches in time create ripples that flow out into the evolving universe around them.  Seeing how the author  weaved the lockstep and the fast worlds together is enthralling. Seeing how Toby’s family and his personal history has evolved over those 14000 years.   The thing is the McGonigal controlled lockstep worlds aren’t the only lockstep worlds out there.  While the reader doesn’t get to see into too many of the ‘other’ lockstep worlds, there is the knowledge given that they exist. This leaves the opportunity for so much more of the universe that the reader finds Toby in to be explored.  I’m so hoping that the author decides to do so.

On a personal side note, I also REALLY want a denner! I think they are my favorite characters in the whole book, even though they don’t actually say a word. lol.

I give this one 5 out of 5 controllers with an extra royalty award.  Again, absolutely amazing, I highly recommend it!




My Rating

rate 5


crown rating

sig AimeeKay