Hello humans! Today’s book review is for another book from my local publisher Rebellion Publishing, the same house who brought us Binary System and Paris Adrift among others. I always enjoy reading books from them as it feels like I’m supporting local publishing (and, more importantly, publishing outside of London). I should also mention that my husband and a few other friends do work at Rebellion but they work on the video game programming side and my connection with the company has in no way affected this review. With that out of the way, let’s get on to reviewing The Quantum Magician.
Belisarius is a quantum man, an engineered Homo quantus who fled the powerful insight of dangerously addictive quantum senses. He found a precarious balance as a con man, but when a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, he must embrace his birthright to even try. In fact, the job is so big that he’ll need a crew built from all the new sub-branches of humanity. If he succeeds, he might trigger an interstellar war, but success might also point the way to the next step of Homo quantus evolution.
When I started reading this book I was terrified that it was going to send me into a reading slump, which tends to happen to me after I get stuck reading something really heavy. This book has a lot of science in it. I can’t speak to whether the science is accurate, I honestly don’t care, that’s not something I tend to search for in my science fiction (I know, radical behaviour). But there is a lot of it. While reading, I likened it to being punched in the face with a particle physics textbook (but in a good way!). Because once I learned to have a lighter eye (I would say skim, but that seems rude and also a little offhand) the more science-heavy passages, this is actually a wonderfully exciting science fiction heist book. Which is far more up my alley.
I thought that the characters who made up Belisarius’ crew were interesting and unique. Though some of them did rub me up the wrong way on occasion, that’s a matter of personal preference and I’m fairly sure everyone who reads this will have a different experience and will get on more or less with different members of the crew. My absolute favourite character had to be St Matthew (who is not a Saint but don’t tell him that) the AI.
The plot pretty much unfolds as you would expect this kind of story to do, getting the crew together, executing the plan, various double dealings and mishaps occurring along the way. I haven’t read a huge number of heist novels, as they don’t typically come up in the kind of books I’m reading at the moment, so I can’t speak to how formulaic the plot is in this book but hey, if it ain’t broke…
All in all, I enjoyed this far more than I ever expected to, if you, like me, are a little bit new to what I would call ‘heavier’ science fiction then I would say that this is still worth reading, it takes a while to settle into the language and jargon that is used, but you don’t need to sit with a web search open to deal with any of the terms. This was a strong story and one I would definitely recommend to a number of friends.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I received a digital advanced review copy of this title from the publishers for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? Is this something you would read? Let me know in the comments below!