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4.0 out of 5 stars
Quantum Night
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(4 star). See both reviews
on 10 April 2016
I just finished this last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. The concept that drives the story is very cheeky and fits perfectly with the evidence any of us can gather from our daily interactions online and in the real world. It's not short on "dad" humour that takes the edge off what could otherwise be quite confronting at times.

In many ways it feels quite similar to Flash Forward, which is high praise as I enjoyed that book just as much as this one, although Quantum Night has big philosophical and psychological aspects that set it apart. The story is intricate enough, with our protagonist's past gradually revealed to us through flashbacks and insights from his treatments, but it never becomes bogged down or confusing.

I find Robert J. Sawyer's style makes for very easy and enjoyable reading so I ate this one up in less than a fortnight. The characters are mostly likeable (most of the time) and the one really bad guy is only briefly involved in the story. That said, all the good guys do questionable things but that is part of what makes it so engaging. If there was one aspect that bugged me a little, it was that the background of general unrest -widespread rioting, etc. - seemed a little forced. But that was a minor gripe that didn't spoil anything.
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on 20 January 2017
Suppose that a neuroscientist found a reliable physical method for identifying sociopaths. Suppose that another neuroscientist found a way of measuring the quantum state of an individual’s brain. Suppose that together, they discovered that for every 1 thinking, empathetic individual in the world, there are 2 psychopaths and 4 psychological zombies (people who don’t have inner lives and consciences, but spend their lives following and imitating others, a la “mob mentality”). That’s the premise of this book. It’s an interesting one, and the author has done seemingly strong research into psychology and quantum physics to provide a solid basis for the novel; I'm hardly an expert in either, so I can only say that I found it believable enough to enjoy.

Sawyer’s books tend to range widely in quality from excellent to good to occasionally crap. I’d put this one in the “very good” range. The premise is interesting, and the plot is well done. I was much less enamoured of the unecessary frequent references to pop culture ("Taylor Swift", "Classical Gas"), which will, I suspect, make the book seem very dated 10 years from now. Fans of speculative fiction works about quantum physics will probably enjoy this.
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