diumenge, 29 de març del 2015

Superposition - David Walton (english version)

Disclaimer: English is my third language, and this is my first attempt to do a review in this language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. You can read this review also in Spanish here.

The latest novel by the american author David Walton, Superposition, is a techno-thriller with very interesting and entertaining moments, although it suffers from some flaws in the final parts that I consider important, and therefore my final assessment is lower than the enjoyment it has provided me.

The main protagonist of the story is Jacob, a physicist with a lot of talent who is working as a teacher and is father of a large family (as the author, who has seven children. With only two I have lack of time...). Jacob receives a visit from a former colleague who works in a particle accelerator, and that provides him evidence of the existence of a technology that allows to modify the quantum properties of matter. Trying to make conclusive evidence he shot Jacob's wife, but without causing any damage. Jacob does not react very well, hits him and kicks him out of the house. The next day Jacob moves to the particle accelerator to talk again with his friend and finds his body, and  some estrange forces that are very difficult to control. Logically, he is accused of murder.

The beginning of the novel is very entertaining and alternates chapters, always from the point of view of Jacob, but into two timelines. On the one hand the adventures that take him to discover the body of his friend and the consequences that would follow from this fact, and secondly the trial for the murder, one of the most enjoyable parts. The rhythm and the structure of he story make it very suitable for a film adaptation.

The aspect that more has interested me of the plot is the possibility that two versions of the same person can exist simultaneously  temporarily, and how the experiences of each one are making these versions increasingly different. That opens a question: when these two versions end up coming together again, what will be the outcome of the overlay, which version will prevail?. These were parts of the novel that I really liked, but after a certain time, roughly half of the book, I started to loose interest, probably because I've seen the resolution coming. Also, the use of some coincidences and situations that I consider too convoluted  to justify the continuation of the story  made me decrease the final assessment. Still, I recommend it if you like thrillers with scientific background, surprising plot twists and original arguments (Walton on his website compares his style with films like Inception or The Prestige, but I can not fully agree).

Although the novel ends satisfactorily and history can be taken for closed, the sequel, Supersymmetry ( in which I hope the author improves the details that I have indicated), will be published. If I have the chance I will give it a look.

In short: a techno-thriller with the structure of a bestseller, which may be of interest to regular readers of genre but is open to new audiences. Although it has some aspects too technical related to quantum physics, Walton makes a major effort to explain the concepts required to follow the plot. It was entertaining, and I liked the author's style, but I've found, especially in the end, too many details that have not convinced me. A pity, because the first part of the book is really good and some of the situations and reflections really interested me.

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