Supersymmetry (book two) by David Walton (book review).

Supersymmetry’by David Walton is the second novel in David Walton’s ‘Superposition’ duology.

Supersymmetry’ picks up the story fifteen years after the end of the first novel, ‘Superposition’. The varcolac, the creature composed of the complex quantum interactions of the particles, has been safely kept away from Earth. But now it is back and wants revenge on those who expelled it from the universe. The first thing it does is to kill the hero of the first novel, Jacob Kelley, by obliterating the whole stadium when he attends a baseball match there.

Next on the varcolac’s list are Kelley’s twin daughters, Alex and Sandra, who are effectively two probability waves of his original daughter, Alessandra. The probability field that keeps them apart is also what keeps the varcolac out of their universe. However, the varcolac does not yet have the ability to murder either of the twins.

Sandra has become a policewoman and is called to the stadium incident. With the help of Angel (pronounced An-hel) Guttierrez, who brings a swarm of quadcopters to search the stadium for the chips in credit cards etc, they find her Dad’s phone. It rings. It is her Dad or at least the probability wave of him that left the stadium early. It is enough to warn them that the varcolac is on the loose.

Alex has become physicist-turned-engineer and works for a big company. She takes part in a secret demonstration for Defence Secretary of State to show the military advantages of the new Higgs projector developed by Ryan Oronzi. The varcolac attacks, taking over the Defence Secretary’s body. Alex is forced to shoot him and ends up being on the run wanted for murder. The only way out of this mess is to prove the varcolac did it.

So begins a desperate adventure across the globe, through time and quantum sub-world to try to stop the varcolac taking over the universe and destroying humanity.

Do they succeed? The answer is only satisfactory if the reader understands the quantum ideas that have led up to ending. Fortunately, Angel has to have things explained to him, much like Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes stories. This is one area where the novel excels, explaining the principles of physics that push the story forward very clearly.

There are some minor moments of humour that lighten up the grimness. An example is when Ryan’s arrogance about his intelligence leads him to invent Oronzi’s Law: ‘Any sufficiently-advanced intelligence will be indistinguishable from insanity.

While the main characters, Alex, Sandra and Ryan, are nicely drawn out in the novel, I felt the secondary characters could have done with some rounding in their personalities. For instance, Angel always comes across as someone who takes the most incredulous events in his stride with a quiet sense of humour.

To summarise, if you want to read an action thriller based on easily readable quantum physics, you can’t go far wrong with ‘Supersymmetry’. You don’t need to read the first book in the duology to read this one.

Rosie Oliver

August 2020

(pub: Pyr/Prometheus Books, 2015. 302 page small enlarged paperback. Price: $17.00 (US), $18.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-63388-098-6. Ebook: $11.99 (US), ISBN: 978-1-63388-099-3)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.