by David Walton
Science Fiction | Thriller | 300 Pages | Published by Pyr in 2015
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
After reading numerous excellent reviews for Superposition and hearing excellent things about David Walton’s writing, I snapped up the chance to read and review Superposition when it was presented. I love science fiction. I love crime thrillers. So I’m willing to bet that I sure as hell am going to love a combination of the two. And Superposition really didn’t disappoint. This is a fast paced sci-fi thriller which unfolds like a crime drama. Completely unpredictable – anything could and does happen – and utterly absorbing, David Walton has created a world which makes you think, makes you dream and makes you believe.
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.
Jacob Kelley life is changed irrevocably when an old friend and colleague shows up at his house presumably deranged and spouting wild scientific theories. When events escalate and the impossible starts to happen, Jacob realises that Brian’s theories may not be so wild after all. Only Brian has been murdered and Jacob is the number one suspect. On trial for a murder he couldn’t possibly have committed, and on the run from an alien quantum intelligence which seems intent on hunting him down, Jacob must find a way to prove his innocence before it’s too late for both himself and his family.
Walton writes a highly convincing plot, fast paced and brimming with tension. The narrative twists and turns and keeps you guessing until the very end – and for this sci-fi crime thriller, absolutely anything is possible. The narrative is split into two through the ‘Up-Spin’ and the ‘Down-Spin’ chapters which separate the past from the present – the events which led from the opening scenes from the murder trial itself – which gives breathing space to the action, keeps the pages turning and provides two fascinating perspectives on these impossible events from one man who is completely out of his depth.
The science behind Superposition is conveyed excellently throughout the murder trial. Walton relies on the testimonies of expert witnesses to explain the science in layman’s terms without having to resort to lengthy information dumps which would have broken the tension and pace of the novel. This is hard sci-fi, there’s no getting away from that (if it’s the sort of thing that puts you off), but the narrative is so compelling and draws you in so completely that the scientific details are unlikely to overwhelm even the biggest sceptic of hard sci-fi.
Jacob Kelley is a convincing narrator whose alternating chapters from past to present give a sympathetic view of his character. The characterisation was also perfect for this style of novel. Where usually I prefer a certain amount of depth to all characters, the depiction of the bit players fell in line with what I’ve come to expect from crime novels where the protagonist is fleshed out fully but the side characters are open to all possibilities – and all can be suspected. This helped to keep the focus on both the protagonist and the action, and aided in making the surprises even more surprising.
Superposition is a fascinating, exhilarating and truly absorbing read which left me wanting more. Recommended to all fans of science fiction – expect wild scientific theories, surprises aplenty and heart-thumping tension from a sophisticated sci-fi thriller. David Walton is certainly an author I will be keeping an eye on.