Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer #BookReview

Title: Quantum Night | Author: Robert J. Sawyer | Publisher: Ace | Pub. Date: 2016-3-1 | Pages: 368 | ISBN13: 9780425256831 | Genre: Science Fiction Thriller | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the publisher for review consideration

Quantum Night

With such compelling and provocative novels as Red Planet Blues, FlashForward and The WWW Trilogy, Robert J. Sawyer has proven himself to be “a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation” (New York Times). Now, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author explores the thin line between good and evil that every human being is capable of crossing…

Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life from twenty years previously—a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.

Jim is reunited with Kayla Huron, his forgotten girlfriend from his lost period and now a quantum physicist who has made a stunning discovery about the nature of human consciousness. As a rising tide of violence and hate sweeps across the globe, the psychologist and the physicist combine forces in a race against time to see if they can do the impossible—change human nature—before the entire world descends into darkness.Book cover for Quantum Night

Quantum Night Review

Quantum Night grabs the reader, demands their attention, and proceeds to horrify them (in some aspects) because it seems more fiction than fact. The opening pages alone are enough to make you realize that you need to put aside your distractions and focus on what Sawyer is saying.  I’ve been in the midst of a reading slump where most of the adult fiction submitted for my perusal has been mildly interesting at best and outright boring the rest of the time.

Sawyer’s prose can, when discussing scientific things, make your mind want to wander, but luckily he’s able to pull you right back into the text and keep you engaged.  If you’re someone who is intimidated by not having a complete grasp on the science talked about in what you’re reading, this book will overwhelm you in certain sections. However, if you can just accept that you don’t really need to get it to enjoy the story; you’ll be good to go. (It’s probably best if you can just accept it while you’re reading it and go, as there’s at least one part that will definitely throw some people off.)

The opposite side of the aforementioned coin is that one of the things I appreciated about Quantum Night was that it made me want to know more about the science mentioned. I am, and have always been, one of those people that will look things up if I read about them. Just to see if they’re true or not. Sometimes it’s to fact check when I smell male cow dung, but other times it’s because I’m extremely curious and want to broaden my horizons with five minutes of Googling and nerding out. The continued talk of philosophical zombies was the cause of one such five minute foray.

Filled with references that most people with a passing association with the internet will recognize: Megyn Kelly, Huffington Post, etc, it is a novel set in a near-future (2020, to be exact) that is easily imaginable.  Actually, the continual references to reality is one of the few downfalls of this novel. It was so inundated with name dropping of various things that it got a bit tedious at times. Not enough to dissuade me from reading it, by any means, though.

I thought it was interesting that while I started off really liking the main character, by the end of the book I kind of wanted to smack him. A very good guy – one who ‘walked the walk’ – and I still wanted to smack him because he annoyed me. But he was an interesting character. Most of them were, really. I couldn’t fault any of them for how they reacted to the various situations they were put in.

Quantum Night isn’t perfect. I felt like he’d laid solid groundwork, couldn’t quite get everything to gel in a way that didn’t seem easy and/or convenient.  However, for all its faults, it is extremely interesting read. It was one that I couldn’t put down once I started reading, and came back to ever possible chance I got until I finished it the same day. I need to read more from this author. I can’t believe I’ve never come across him before.

Buy Link: Amazon

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