Superposition – David Walton

About the Book

Jacob Kelley’s family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night before he appeared at Jacob’s house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.

As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.

304 pages (paperback)
Published on April 15, 2015
Published by Pyr
Author’s webpage
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This book was sent for me to review by the publisher.

Superposition is a book I devoured. And when I finished it, I had to sit back and think about what I had just read. That’s the kind of book this is. It’s a thinking book. Yes, there’s a lot of mystery, and a lot of fun and action, but the concepts that are dealt with, and the way the story is told, almost requires some time to sit back and just absorb what you just read.

I love books like that.

Superposition starts innocently enough. Readers are introduced to the protagonist, Jacob Kelley. He appears to be an average guy, quite smart, and loves his family dearly. Right when you get used to Kelley’s fairly average life, things change. His friend appears, and everything changes, and it changes incredibly fast.

This book is told in a unique way. There’s the Up-Spin and the Down-Spin. One thread tells the story of Kelley’s impending trial, and the other tells readers the actual events that happened to get Kelley to that point. It can be kind of confusing at first until all the pieces click in place, but this method of telling the story allows Walton to really explore a greater depth and length of plot that a novel of this length wouldn’t otherwise allow.

A lot of Superposition deals with science and quantum physics. Walton does a great job at making these complex topics believable and accessible to the average reader. I don’t really understand a lot of what is covered fully, but the general idea was fine to get me through. A huge help with a lot of these complex topics was the preparation for Kelley’s trial, when Kelley has to break down a lot of these topics for his attorney. During these discussions, previous parts of the book that might have confused you will suddenly click into place. A light bulb will turn on, and everything will make perfect sense.

Readers should be aware of the fact that they won’t really understand a lot of what is going on in this novel until you hit those “ah ha!” points and it all clicks together. There’s something really exciting about reading a novel where you are just as confused as the characters living through those events. However, don’t let that confusion keep you from reading Superposition. This is a hugely visual novel, and it’s easy to really get sucked into that. And honestly, that confusion is part of what is really attractive about the book itself. You really don’t get a full picture of what is happening until after it has already happened. Walton keeps you hooked.

The plot moves incredibly quickly, and while some of it wasn’t absolutely believable, the execution and the concepts that Walton plays with really had me hooked. There is a lot of mystery, and due to the unique plot execution, there are a ton of “ah ha” moments as things click into place. However, there is a requirement for readers to suspend disbelief, as some of the aspects of the plot are inferred, or talked about, understood, witnessed but not actually seen (Yeah that’s confusing, but I’m not sure how else to say that without giving away important parts of the book).

Superposition is quite the impressive novel. It’s different than anything I’ve read so far this year. This is a near-future science fiction book crafted with a ton of thought, research, and love on the author’s part. The plot is intricate and absolutely surprising. Walton’s writing and his deft handling of complex scientific topics is superb, but really the thing that impressed me the most was how Walton kept surprising me over and over again as I read. Furthermore, I was rather shocked by how much it resonated with me. I had to take some time to absorb Superposition when I finished it, which is the mark of a truly impressive book. This is one of those rare books that is just as cerebral as it is scientific, and the fantastic balance between the two makes it absolutely addicting.


4/5 stars

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