Book Review: Quantum Space by Douglass Phillips

Posted October 30, 2022 by lomeraniel in Hard Science-Fiction, Review, Science-Fiction / 0 Comments

Book Review: Quantum Space by Douglass PhillipsQuantum Space (Quantum #1) by Douglas Phillips
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne
Series: Quantum #1
Published by Tantor Audio on 03-27-18
Genres: Science-Fiction, Hard Science-Fiction
Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Scribd
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: two-half-stars

A trillion neutrinos just passed through your body. You might want to buckle up...
High above the windswept plains of Kazakhstan, three astronauts on board a Russian Soyuz capsule begin their reentry. A strange shimmer in the atmosphere, a blinding flash of light, and the capsule vanishes in a blink as though it never existed.
On the ground, evidence points to a catastrophic failure, but a communications facility halfway around the world picks up a transmission that could be one of the astronauts. Tragedy averted, or merely delayed? A classified government project on the cutting edge of particle physics holds the clues, and with lives on the line, there is little time to waste.
Daniel Rice is a government science investigator. Marie Kendrick is a NASA operations analyst. Together, they must track down the cause of the most bizarre event in the history of human spaceflight. They draw on scientific strengths as they plunge into the strange world of quantum physics, with impacts not only to the missing astronauts, but to the entire human race.

A reentering capsule with three astronauts aboard suddenly disappears from the sky without leaving any traces, but the astronauts’ voices can still be heard through the radio.

Hard-science fiction fans will thoroughly enjoy this book. Among the great things about it, is the solid science behind it. Phillips even wrote an epilogue explaining which items in the story were based on facts and which ones were fiction. I enjoyed a detailed explanation of the standard model of particle physics and learning that the line between reality and fiction was beyond what I expected. The physics in this book is mind-bending.

I somehow expected the plot to develop a bit differently, and I found the pacing at first a bit off due to the info dumping necessary to understand all the implications. This info dumping was entirely done in dialogs, which should be okay, but it wasn’t. The dialogs sounded stilted and artificial, not only the info-dumping ones, but all of them. This was one of the reasons why the characters didn’t feel alive to me, but not the only reason. They were barely developed, and in most cases, they were just artifacts to get the story going.

This is a strongly male book. I know this affirmation may sound wrong, especially in the world we live in. What I mean is that it’s a male book by traditional standards. The main character is a cis man, and two additional female characters help drive the story forward. One of them is the one the main character dumps information on, and the other is someone experienced in physics. There’s a clear sexual tension between them all, and the main male character even had a sexually explicit dream about one of the women shortly after he met her.

Most reviews of this book are very positive, and I might be a dissonant voice, but I couldn’t stand the sexualization of women in this book. I hated how they were described, with great emphasis on their pleasant appearance. This didn’t happen with male characters. This is also the typical book where a male protagonist has all the glory while women contribute from the shadows.

The book is the first in a series, which means the resolution is just the beginning of a longer and more complex story. Despite the good things about this book, the negatives outweighed them. I might be slightly interested in knowing how the story will continue, but I just can’t stand how this book is written. This is the end of the journey for me.

Kirby Heyborne’s narration was a bit monotonous, and the voices in the dialogs were not consistent, so it was a bit confusing at times. I listened to this book on Scribd, so I’m not sure if this was a problem with the Scribd audiobook or the audio production, but many chapters ended abruptly in mid-sentence.

Story (Plot)
Overall: two-half-stars