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Friday, October 26, 2018

Review: The Quantum Magician


 The Quantum Magician is Oceans Eleven in Space, on steroids (I thought I was especially clever but turns out other people called it this before as well, damn it!) 
Total Rating: 8.1/10

Originality: 8/10

Language: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
World building: 10/10
Fun: 7/10
Predictability: 7/10
Believable: 7/10
Relevancy: 8/10
Cover: 9/10

Genre: Sci Fi 

Time It Took Me To Read: approx. 5 hours

Are you a science fiction fan? Then do not miss this one out. I was on fire when I got this book to review for free - because I really wanted to read it anyways, having heard so much good stuff about it. And oh boy, this is not like any other book I've read before. It is intense and difficult to chew. It has many pages. But it is still delicious. 

THE BOOK:
Belisarius is a Homo quantus, a genetically engineered human with quantum senses, is a con man. When he  gets the biggest opportunity of his life for a never-seen-before con, he assembles a team to make it happen. 


Originality: 8/10
The idea of a team assembled for an epic heist is nothing new - but that is not what makes this novel so original, rather the world it is in. As the title suggests, this is Book one of the Quantum Evolution, and the heist is just a "small" story line in a much bigger picture. 

Language:
8/10
The language is hard. Occasionally I felt like I was reading a scientific paper in physics (and I dropped out of physics as fast as I could). I do not know what was pseudo-science, what was real, what was simply made up. Put it seemed incredibly scientific though. 

"The magnetic field of the Stubbs Pulsar, although weak as far as pulsars went, throbbed against the magnetosmes in Belisarius' cells, imposing a reassuring polarity on the world and feeding his brain rough navigational data. After fifty-six point one minutes, a new magnetic field pressed on his magnetosomes, swallowing them."

"His restless brain counted the stones of the arcade, measured the angular errors in the joints of walls and buildings and roofs, and tracked the gradual deteriorations that no one fixed. The magnetic organelles in his cells felt the unevenness of the electrical currents in the neighbourhood, and his brain assigned national probabilities to different service failures." 

Yes. Digest this. 

One thing that drove me absolutely mad was the use of first names in dialogues. 

"We're cursed, Cassie, just like the mondrels and just like the Puppets."
"We're nothing like them."
"Our genetics built us a new way to starve, Cassie. The mongrels die if they leave the pressure of their oceans. The Puppets die if they're too far away from the Numen. You know what we need, Cassie."

I get it. Her name is Cassie. 

Atmosphere: 8/10
Despite being complex and hard to chew, it feels like the novel is always ahead of you. Things do not make sense immediately, concepts are not understood, characters not fully explored, while the novel seems to know it all already. So I felt like the whole novel felt like a chase - which is incredibly intriguing and unique, but at the same time got frustrating at times because it felt like so much work to keep up. 

Characters: 9/10
Belisarius (I stumble upon his name every time and in my head it turns to Beli-saurus like a dinosaur)  brings together characters that support him in his heist. None of them is particularly deep, but we get a bit of a comic relief through some of the character interaction making the book a bit less dry and easing it up between the hard-core scientific paragraphs. 

World building: 10/10
This should not be called world-building, but universe-building. Imagine how difficult it is to make a realistic world in a novel, now imagine the scale of the universe compared to it. I am taking my head off, Mr. Kuensken, as a sign of respect.

Fun: 7/10
The reason fun does not get a full 10 points is simply because I am too dumb for many of those concepts in this amazing novel. It flew way above my head. I do like SciFi and have read SciFi before, but never something so hard core on space and based on scientific facts, conversations and concepts. If this is your type of thing, you probably will give this book 11/10 in Fun. It is a long novel with complex concepts and language, that makes it a lot of work.

Predictability: 7/10
I did not understand half of what was happening, so it was not difficult to not predict things either. Sounds maybe harsh, but that is how I felt!  

Believable: 7/10
The world is so well build and thought through, that I did not question anything, despite not understanding most of it. 

Relevancy: 8/10
I think there is a lot hidden below the surface in this novel. We learn about Puppets, a race of humanity which was created and genetically engineered to worship another, called the Numan. We have the genetically engineered Homos quantus, who are in the end also just slaves to the way they have been engineered.

Cover: 9/10
The cover is pretty and indicates the degree of epic-ness you are about to encounter. 

Total Rating: 8.1/10
This novel is not for everyone - but if you love sci fi, and the quotes from the novel that are in this review do not scare you away, you should DEFINITELY give this book a try.


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