[I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]
A good, “popular science” introduction to quite a few concepts, including quantum physics, DNA, string theory and black holes. I’m not rating it higher because, for me, it was definitely just skimming a surface under which I’ve been diving regularly these past few years. That said, I have no doubts that a reader wanting the “beginner’s version” of these scientific ideas, before branching into more in-depth reading about them, will find “Reflections on a Surprising Universe” fairly useful, and easy to approach.
Notwithstanding the limited interest for me (since I already know more than what the book carries), this was still a fascinating read, if only for the author’s obvious (and contagious) passion for the subjects covered here.
It is also a reminder that there is still so much we don’t know, or aren’t sure of—some of our theories can’t be accurately proved yet, after all, and granted, we got lucky with the Higgs, but who knows if all of this won’t be overhauled (again) in 50 years?
Conclusion: Consider this a 4 stars if you want to get into physics/astrophysics but have little or no knowledge about it yet, and could do with a good primer in layperson’s terms.