Series: Spin #1
I changed my mind. Three stars feels a little too generous for this so I'm going with 2.5.
It's a great concept and wanting to find out what had happened kept me reading. Basically, one night all the stars go out and humanity discovers the entire planet has been enveloped in a weird opaque (-ish) membrane that has a simulated sun but doesn't actually let anyone see through it. And somehow Earth's perception of time has slowed way down with respect to the rest of the solar system. So Wilson invokes crazy physics in an interesting way because the general consensus is that some alien race has done this...for reasons.
So I really wanted to found out more about these "Hypotheticals" (the aliens) and what they had done to the Earth, but I struggled to get through the book because I didn't actually like any of the characters. Tyler was tiresome, Jason was your sort of typical nerd genius, I got tired of E. D., the abusive father (verbal and mental abuse, not physical) real fast, and I had zero patience for Diane's desire to ruin her life by running off to find religion and marry a controlling husband. Tyler's thing for Diane was more pathetic than romantic, and some of what I would have found way more interesting (the stuff that was happening to Jason) got glossed over near the end because Tyler just wasn't around for most of it.
I know Wilson already played the crazy physics card with the Spin membrane but I just couldn't suspend my disbelief very well for the Mars terraforming plan. Mars is just too small for that to work, especially over that kind of time scale. Seriously, you'd lose all the "atmosphere" you liberated unless you repeatedly crashed comets into it, and even then....
But I did want to keep reading, which why I debated between 3 and 2.5 stars.
Maybe I'm being picky, but these kids don't seem like they're twelve- and thirteen-year-olds. Yes, the main character is recounting the story from a point in time in the future, but I'm having trouble suspending my disbelief. And not because all of the stars have disappeared.
Perhaps I should look for a book that'll make me less cranky.
I was introduced with the concept of the multiverse and the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics by way of the television series Sliders (1995-2000). In the series, we met four travelers traversing the seemingly unlimited worlds of the multiverse and trying to get back home. I found the concept intriguing and when a story touches upon parallel worlds I grab it and watch or read it (as evidenced by my last book review). But, this review is not for Sliders (I will post reviews of its episodes when I start my rewatch.), this is a review for Dark Matter, a 2016 science fiction-thriller book, by Blake Crouch, which, like Sliders, features the multiverse.
The book revolves around Jason Dessen, a college physics professor, a husband and a father. He was abducted one night and then woke up and found out that he is now a famous scientist, just like he always dreamed, but he is not married to his wife and his son was never been born. Realizing that this is not his world, he will find a way to get home to his wife and son by passing through world after world.
The definitely liked how the pace of the story. Though this is a science fiction book, you need not know the complexity of quantum mechanics and neurology to follow the plot, although I appreciated the well placed info dumps. There is also a romantic aspect to it by way of Jason’s love to his wife Daniela, this love fuels Jason’s desire to get home. I found the scenes on their romance a bit off. Just a bit.
I might get spoil something (but not the book’s ending) on this next section.
The many-worlds interpretation implies that all possible alternate histories are real, each realized in their own world in their corner of the multiverse.
It’s terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches off into a new world.
In this book, the alternate world branched off fifteen years ago when Jason faced a decision: to continue the relationship and build a family with Daniela or to continue his work as a scientist and make a breakthrough. I always play the “What if” game, what if I did this, what if that happened. In the end of the game I always tell myself, at least somewhere in the multiverse a version of me will get what he wanted. In life there is no do-overs – there are no time machines, yet — but it is harmless to dream once in a while.
I liked how the main conflict of the book was written. I was surprised because I haven’t seen the branching of worlds affecting the main character on other multiverse stories.
Quick rating: I very much loved it.
I went with this book for Tomorrowland #34 (child on the cover) since it's been on my shelf so long.
I've been trying to figure out just how long it's been sitting there unread, and I have to admit that I'm not sure. I know I picked it up for $5 or so in the bargain section at Chapters (actually I think it was at one of the stores still under the Indigo name). The book was published in 2006 so it probably wasn't put in the bargain section until 2007...maybe 2008? Regardless of which year it was, it's kind of sad that it's been on my shelf close to a decade even if it hasn't quite reached that mark.
It's about time I read it, isn't it?
So far it's about a bunch of people emigrating from Iceland to Greenland, and the main point of view character is Katla, a thrall (read: slave) of one of the leaders. I don't think this is going to be a very happy story.