I’ve read a few books by Robert J. Sawyer. I think he does a great job of mixing science with storytelling in a way that feels original, informative, and not at all boring. His characters are smart and sometimes geeky and always interesting. Though I had a hard time swallowing the premise of this particular book, I was up for rolling with the theory. As things progressed, however, I felt like there were more and more holes in the scientific, philosophical, and practical implications of the central event. This book does have a story and a plot, but in some ways it feels more like a thought experiment than a novel.
Basically what happens is the central characters cause an unprecedented event, and then we watch as the fallout hits them all on a personal level. Sometimes I found this interesting. At other times I found their reactions hard to credit. Still, it’s refreshing to read a book that explores the edges of what you’re willing to believe while simultaneously tossing you in with a bunch of science nerds living through a collective existential crises. In the end, the book ends up being more about feelings than science.
Read it if thought experiments on the speculative rim of science are fun and interesting for you.
Skip it if you like your science free of wild conjecture, plot twists, and emotional characters.