21 May, 2015

Review - Superposition by David Walton

For some reason I'm always impressed when something both entertains me and educates me. It's as if all those years of torture schooling gave me unreasonable expectations.

But that is the case here. David Walton's Superposition is a fun romp through quantum physics. Jacob Kelly is a brilliant physicist who is confronted by an old friend who pretty much destroys his life.

His old friend has some secrets, mostly involving his scientific research and he arrives at Jacob's house, uninvited, and points a gun at Jacob's wife. He shoots, but nothing happens to her. He's discovered something big, but this discovery ends up with Jacob on trial for murder.

The whole book switches back and forth between two viewpoints. One is the present time where Jacob is figuring out the mysteries surrounding his friend's odd behavior, the other time period is Jacob on trial for the murder of that same friend. All of this is told in the first person.

As an attorney, I was actually quite impressed with Walton's grasp of the courtroom. I spend quite a bit of time there and just ask my wife, she can't stand watching shows with any amount of court. But I can't help it, the stuff Hollywood does in a courtroom tends to make no sense at least half the time.

Walton does a great job, however, making the courtroom both realistic and entertaining, which is why Hollywood tends to not follow the realistic approach I'm lead to believe. And the worst part is, the District Attorney has a pretty great case against Jacob only made worse by the fact that the real explanation is absolutely ludicrous.

Throughout the entirety of the book, you're also learning a lot about how quantum physics work. How probability plays more of a role than just about anything and how that is just about impossible to wrap your mind around because how can probability have anything to do with things that exist!

And that's not to say the narrative gets bogged down in explanations, it's a smooth thriller and the science only adds to the wonder.

I quite thoroughly enjoyed Superposition and probably mostly for how much I get to bug people with my new found knowledge of particle physics. It's a fascinating concept on display in an entertaining read. Highly Recommended. The finale of this duology, Supersymmetry, comes out September 1, 2015 from Pyr.

4 out of 5 Stars.