A mind-blowing new thriller from the NY Times best-selling author of Wired.
Omar Haddad is a brutal jihadist in Syria who appears to be invulnerable and capable of supernatural feats. But is Haddad divine, as he claims? Is he a gifted magician? Or is he making use of a stunning scientific breakthrough? And what, exactly, is keeping him from unleashing the global apocalypse he’s so eager to bring about? Brennan Craft, a quirky quantum physics genius, has the answers, and the US military is desperate to capture him. But when Craft risks everything to recruit a Black Ops researcher named Alyssa Aronson, it becomes clear he's playing a treacherous game of his own.
Hunted by both the military and Haddad, Craft and Alyssa race to find a way to keep the unstoppable jihadist in check. But there may not be any way. And Alyssa soon fears that Craft is becoming an even bigger threat to the world than Omar Haddad... Quantum Lens is a smart, roller-coaster-ride of a thriller, packed with intriguing ideas that listeners will be contemplating long after they've heard the last minute.
©2014 Douglas E. Richards (P)2014 Audible Inc.
“Richards is a worthy successor to Michael Crichton.” (SF Book.com)
Enjoy the adventure
A maniacal villain is planning to cleanse the world of everyone he dislikes, which is almost all of us. The book’s hero would like to stop him. Expect action, tense moments and difficulty turning the story off when it’s time for work or bed.
The author reminds me of Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Lost World, etc.). The book is packed with interesting science facts and the author’s views on religion, government, taxes, torture and comic book heroes.
Not thrilled with the writing style. The narrator intruded into the story, too much "off camera summary'" but otherwise fun and thought provoking.
After burning a credit on this book and listening to more than half of it, I'm going to have to give it up unfinished. The characters are shallow, over-the-top, and one-dimensional. Key details are glossed over (it is taken for granted that hacking can be accomplished on anything, and the audience.is reassures that the "science" behind certain theories is sound without it ever being demonstrated). Characters explain things away to other characters by insisting that they, and consequently the reader, "couldn't understand." Everyone is a caricature of themselves. The author tried to create a wishy washy amalgamation of science and religion which just reeks of half-baked postmodern agnosticism. And to top it all off, the narrator reads everything in the same half-breathy, dramatic tone that grates the nerves after half an hour.
I always appreciate the merge of science and a good thriller. This one is well written and thoroughly enjoyable. I removed one star, only because there was a little more wrap up at the end than I thought was necessary.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Actually Quantum Lens is an action thriller that depends upon science and science fiction. The bad guy is a Muslim jihadist with some rather strange powers of the mind who has a large,dedicated following and is threatening to take over his home country of Syria. The book and the narration are excellent.
Say something about yourself!
I'm not familiar with Douglas E Richards, so this was my first book by him I've read. The science is interesting, the concepts are more than enough to carry the the "techno-thriller" part of the book, but Quantum Lens read and felt like a poor man's version of Daniel Saurez's Influx.
The biggest dent in the story wasn't the theories presented but just the one-dimensionality of the characters. There's also a bit of wanton speculation on the nature of the universe, and when the main character explains it in a pseudo-quantum-science-meets-religion. Not a problem, and I was willing to bite for the sake of a good story. However, I expected the other main character be a bit of a rational anchor as one would expect as being another person of science, especially being a person specializing in brain psychology. There's also a timeout for a libertarian rant, again seems unanchored and immediately accepted by the second main character yet again, especially when said person is on the government dole and in the academia tract (who might be expected to take a slightly different position). I wasn't expecting for a full-fledged socio-political exploration on pseudo-religion vs science or libertarian vs socialism, just more depth from the characters. For a book about smart people, when it comes to interacting, they're pretty simple, and there isn't room for any debate... but this is a thriller so intellectual debates aside...
Why is the bad guy bad? World domination/sharia law. Why is the good guy good? Someone must protect the innocent people. Can the good guy hack beyond any logical comprehension? Of course he can! There's even a damsel-in-distress to toss into the mix, passed around as the bounty for the hero.
For a book that's quite heady, it's also an underhand pitch in character development. There's a minor twist which wasn't a surprise. I hoped that it actually was what being presented by the villain and not what I suspected, as it'd been less predictable. Had Richards been willing to make that turn, it would have made for a more interesting book, and justified the simple interactions previously as a condensed for the big reveal. Alas, it was not so.
It was enjoyable but risk-adverse, surprising for a book that takes risky leaps into science and religion. While iImay have spent almost the entirety of my review pointing out the negatives, I can't say I didn't enjoyed it. In the end, I was mostly disappointed as it simply fell short.
I had serious time getting through this novel. The narrator, who is clear and I am sure great, does not have much to work with. Perfect woman, perfect man, handsome, suave, smart, super powers, genius, rich, perfect in every way. Falls in passionate perfect love in a minute- love at first sight. He says the right thing and is perfect in every way. So perfect everyone is unreal and as a result there feels like nothing is at stake here. Every description is perfect "breakfast for a queen" "Best week of my life"- it is so heavy handed it is overpowering and annoying. Just way too over the top. Did I mention the word "perfect" yet- everything is absolutely perfect for these characters everything! I was pretty much on board for about 30% of this and then it all piled up so much I couldn't take it.
I saw another review that said this was bad and did not believe it. I am a believer. I thought this was listed as a "best seller" but now reading- looks like best selling author. I think this was a miss for him. Too much for me. I need some realism. People are not perfect.
Enjoyed it. Glad the author included the afterword detailing what is real and what is conjecture. Recommending it to my friends.
"Richards can do better"
Not as good as other books by Richards. I dislike the unconvincing arguments regarding God theory, and the plot twist is totally predictable and kind of anticlimactic. The story and characters are true to the style of the author, and that I like.
"Too much fictional waffle"
I found that this story didn't go anywhere fast. The author spent an incredible amount of time building fictional theories and explaining them in excruciating detail. He also found it necessary to use foul language on a number of occasions. I personally hate this descent into very base behaviour and it leaves me with a dim view of the authors morals. It would seem that media of all sorts are competing to become the rudest, foul mouthed orators out of their peers. When you see three and four year olds using this language you know it has gone too far. To the author.... Please edit this bad language out of your books. Don't continue to add to the moral decline.
"Really good book"
Thought provoking book with good but predictable plot
interesting theories and characters and passed my holiday well listening to it
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