Book Review: Superposition
By: David Walton
Published By: Pyr
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Adult - Science Fiction
You know how sometimes you take a chance on a book by an author you’ve never read before? That’s what I did with Superposition, and I couldn’t be happier! Walton delivers a spectacular genre mash up of science fiction, legal drama and murder mystery that will keep you thinking long after you’ve closed the book. (Edited to add: I read the book and wrote this review over two months ago and I’m still thinking about the book.)
Jacob Kelley and his family receive a late night visit from one of Jacob’s former physics colleagues who shows them some disturbing new technology. Not long after, the colleague is found murdered and all the evidence points to Jacob. As the trial unfolds, the implications of the technology become broader and more serious, and Jacob must race against time to clear his name by finding the real murderer.
Walton does a good job making the quantum physics behind the story accessible to the non-scientist. The tech-talk bits use fairly simple language and everyday objects to convey the concepts – the main character is explaining things to his lawyer after all. ;) And he captures the fundamental weirdness of the wave-particle duality of energy and matter in a hilarious scene where Jacob, the main character, is arguing with himself. (Don’t fret. By the time you get to that part in the story, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.)
Now before the science fiction label turns some of you off, this is near future SF – no space travel, no weird names or unpronounceable alien languages – and although the science is an integral part of the story, it is by no means the only important part. Walton’s characters are terrific, flawed, and real. Jacob has anger management issues and a somewhat shady past. His teenage daughter is a believable mix of angst, need, and bravery. Brian, the former colleague, is a brainiac ladies’ man. Fun characters and Walton’s laid-back writing style made it all too easy to stay up into the wee hours devouring this book.
Also, Superposition is a very visual book, one that I could easily see this being made into a movie. And I really do hope that Walton gets a good movie deal out of this – I’ll be first in line to hand over my money. The story has the potential for Inception-like visual effects and it certainly has the brain-bendy, reality-warping moments to carry them.
Only two teeny, tiny things bugged me about this book. First, I just want to know more about the varcolacs, though I have it on good authority the sequel will go into that. Second, what’s with the mirrors?
Quibbles aside, I love this book! If only superposition technology were real, I could read books like this all day long and still be able to do everything else I’m supposed be doing at the same time.
Jacob Kelley's family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night before he appeared at Jacob's house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.
As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.