4 out of 4 stars
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New Eden by Kishore Tipirneni is a science-fiction story that explores one of the possibilities offered by quantum entanglement, a core principle of quantum mechanics. Quantum entanglement can happen when two subatomic particles become linked and can communicate with each other even across long distances. The author’s debut novel connects this physical phenomenon to contact with far-away alien life forms.
Dr. Joshua Andrews is working in his underground laboratory, trying to create these particles artificially. He calls them spookyons, based on Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” famous quote. Joshua has been working on his research non-stop ever since his mentor, who started the whole project, passed away. When journalist Rachael Miller asks Joshua for an interview, little do they know that their meeting will forever change their lives in a crazy entanglement of their own.
I love reading sci-fi books featuring quantum mechanics, so the blurb pulled me in right away. The story is fast-paced, with some slower-going chapters, especially when the author describes the various experiments taking place. Still, they push the plot forward, so I never found myself bored while reading. The last quarter of the book picked up the pace, and I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to see what would happen next.
In the book, the author asks some hard questions that humans need answers to. Are we alone out there, and if not, is there a chance of contacting aliens across star systems and galaxies? The story offers an interesting explanation of the Big Bang and the way our universe was created. This part, however, made me slightly uncomfortable. I am not a religious person, and Rachael has very strong biblical views. Many conversations between Rachael and Joshua have a religious tone as she is trying to make him believe in God, which atheists might find an issue with.
However, the love story that evolves between Joshua and Rachael is very sweet, and the book is perfect for fans of clean romance. At its heart, the book is a love story packed in a sci-fi setting. After reading it, I couldn’t help thinking of the latest two books by Blake Crouch, Dark Matter and Recursion, which were two of my favorite reads since last year. Both are love stories with techno-thriller and science-fiction plots, and they also ask similar hard questions.
The story is well written, and there are no major editorial issues with the book. For a debut novel, the writing is devoid of choppy sentences, and despite the heavy topic of quantum mechanics, I had no trouble understanding the plot. Difficult theories and concepts are explained.
Thus, I give New Eden 4 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it to readers of science-fiction books, with a warning to people who don’t read religious-themed stories. Still, I recognize that Rachael’s biblical comments move the plot forward to the book’s stunning conclusion. I hope the author is considering a sequel, as I feel the story of Joshua and Rachael is not over yet.
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