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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  208 ratings  ·  25 reviews
From renowned theoretical physicist, broadcaster and author Jim Al-Khalili, comes this thrilling debut novel drawing on cutting-edge science and set in a near-future full of dazzling technologies.

2041 and the world as we know it grinds to a halt. Our planet seems to be turning against itself - it would appear that the magnetic field, that protects life on Earth from deadly
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 18th 2019 by Bantam Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  208 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Apr 20, 2019 rated it liked it
You may know from my booklist that I do like a good techno-thriller. I tend to think that such an interest is to do with my love of Arthur C Clarke novels, where big scientific ideas were often expounded in an entertaining way. These books then led to me reading many scientists doing similar things – Carl Sagan, even Isaac Asimov, and more recently authors such as Stephen Baxter, as well as thriller writers like Michael Crichton, Neal Stephenson and Frank Schatzing.

With that in mind, this one ha
Niki Groves
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, scary and believable.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, signed
I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pre-release copy of this book after seeing the author at a promotional event at the 2019 Edinburgh Science Festival, and read it in basically one sitting. Having lived in the world of academic physics, and as a fan of apocalyptic fiction, sci-fi, physics and good science in books this is an easy winner for me.

I'd have liked to see more of Shireen and some exploration of her relationships, I missed her in the middle of the book when she vanished for a while
Victor Sonkin
A sci-fi about a global disaster: the planet loses its magnetic field, leading to all kinds of trouble (and promising even worse things); a group of dedicated scientists is going to fight it; some sinister people are against. Kind of laughable, but readable.
David Logan
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
To be published in April. Order your copy now.

My immediate problem with this debut novel was that I had the author's smooth, calm TV voice in my head as I read it. The characters used profanities, and they simply don't seem right in an Al-Kahalili tone. The novel itself is confidently written. It's what used to be called (and might still be) "hard" science fiction, in contrast to more whimsical stuff with a questionable scientific base. The science in Sunfall, or Sun Fall, is not something I wan
Feel The Book
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recensione a cura di Lucrezia per Feel the Book

Voto 4,5

Inizia come un film catastrofico dei più spettacolari: veloci capitoli che ci mostrano, senza nessuna pietà, quello che sta succedendo. Un evento apocalittico, non causato dall’uomo, sta mettendo in seria difficoltà il futuro della vita sulla Terra. Il lettore, quindi, in poche pagine, è trascinato nel bel mezzo della vicenda in cui in un attimo la vita normale è travolta da eventi naturali imprevedibili e spaventosi.

In un futuro prossimo, f
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
In theory I love a science fiction book written by an actual theoretical physicist. And the science in this book was definitely great... I assume, I obviously haven’t got a clue. But it all sounded very convincing. The plot just got a little bit too ridiculous in the last quarter, and there was no satisfying ending. Still an enjoyable read by an author I really like.
Jamie Bowen
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The Earth is dying but there’s a massive cover up in place, to prevent mass hysteria but also to protect the plans of a death cult who believe humans are a plague and need to be eradicated. When an Iranian cyber hacker discovers the plot and obtains the files, she tries to find an ally who can help her tell the world. Up steps British scientist Sarah Maitlin, just appointed to an important UN Committee trying to find a solution to the problem of the magnetic shield breaking down. And so begins t ...more
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An enjoyable apocalyptic thriller, which is more science-focused than character-based. It's an entertaining and fast read, with the science mostly well explained, but the characters fall rather flat.
Peter Kobryn
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, fiction
I'm a big fan of the Professor, have watched countless of his programmes and listened to many of his interviews and radio broadcasts so I was always going to have a positive take on this , but truthfully you will enjoy it more if you are interested in the science rather than approaching it as a work of fiction, characterisation and creativity.

When the Prof veered onto areas of trying to write dialogue and even, at one stage, a budding romance the flow became clunky and laboured , stilted and lac
Fabio Crespi
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superata una iniziale diffidenza, essendo questo l'esordio in narrativa di Al-Khalili (scienziato quantistico e divulgatore scientifico), ma comunque confidando nel fatto che non mi sarei imbattuto in trovate imbarazzanti, mi sono buttato a capofitto nella lettura del romanzo, immergendomi nell'atmosfera da catastrofe incombente e ottenendo ampia soddisfazione.

Il sottogenere catastrofico ha dei notevoli precedenti e grossi nomi di riferimento: tra i più recenti (più o meno) mi sono venuti in men
Paul Pechey
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Started out really well but ultimately lacked a bit of pace, characterisation, and dare I say it, suspense. A good fiction debut by the author but I felt the reader could tell at times that Al-Khalili is a scientist first. Often I felt as if he was trying to explain the future in the context of 2019 technology rather than just letting the reader roll with it and allowing their imagination do the work. Too many incidental characters came and went and the main protagonists lacked dimension in my v ...more
Vote: 2,50
Class: L-B1 (FP)

Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics was just amazing and I thought this book could be something similar to The Martian, with hard science but maybe better (better written, hopefully).
Sadly, this book was a great disappointment.
The author certainly is a great science communicator but he is not so great when it comes to fiction books: the story feels predictable (with all its twists) and the characters almost hollow.
I couldn't care for them and for the fate of
Luca Cresta
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Avevo molte aspettative su questo testo, presentato come un ritorno alla hard SF, da lungo tempo mancante in Italia. Dove dire che le aspettative non sono andate deluse, in quanto l'opera è notevole, anche se forse sarà apprezzata solo da chi ama una SF molto tecnica e tecnologica. In modo del tutto "stocastico", per stare in tema, è stato il secondo testo sulla materia oscura che mi sono trovato a leggere in pochissimi giorni. E come Starplex di Sawyer, anche questo romanzo è risultato una lett ...more
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
I rarely quit books I read. This one, well let’s just say I returned it quite around 70 percent as a “wrong article”. This is a manual of how to “spoil an interesting subject” and how to write a less than average novel. The book is entertaining but way way way too simplistic in its plot and characters are cliches. That’s a pity since the science underneath the plot is well explained and interesting. No doubt it’s the hit point of the book. Others are just misses or near misses.
Kay Smillie
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
The concept is good hard sci-fi, as you would expect from a renowned scientist, but it is fair to comment that perhaps he needs to work on his fiction writing. Too much techy stuff and not enough genuinely interesting characters nor well developed storyline. A bit of a rushed ending. A reasonable read without being startling.

Ray Smillie
Idea di base ottima. Ottima idea che uno scienziato si dedichi anche alla narrativa e l’inizio è una bomba, peccato che si perda... sembra quasi che sia stato scritto da due persone diverse e che quella che è subentrata, lo abbia fatto di malavoglia. Finale un po’ scontato. Succedono cose descritte, ma non mostrate e trovo che l’unico personaggio davvero ben riuscito e coerente sia Shirin.
Interessantissime le spiegazioni scientifiche, molto accurata la ricostruzione dei diversi fenomeni, e delle possibili evoluzioni scentifiche. La trama sembra un classico film di fantascienza ma volendo essere più rigoroso sul piano teorico. Risulta però lento e poco avvincente, tranne alcune brevi parti, non sono riuscita a empatizzare con i protagonisti, e il cattivo è un po' telefonato.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delightful surprise: a physicist venturing into fiction. I'd read several of his scientific works - clear and compelling explanations of mysteries [without condescending] - and yet was prepared for clumsiness and amateurism in fiction. Not at all; an excellent 'marriage'. A deserved five stars.
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

If you love disaster movies, this book is for you!
Elisa Vangelisti
Aug 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abbandonato
bellissimi titolo e copertina, scritto bene. purtroppo mi annoia.
Richard Hakes
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved it, good modern Science Fiction in the classical sense but in a modern contemporary world. Hope to read more.
Margaret McCulloch-Keeble
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I really enjoyed this intelligent sci-fi story. It's a humdinger of a debut in my opinion. Well done that man.
Flo Borgia
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 soddisfatta
Da grande amante dei film catastrofici, che si è guardata, purtroppo, anche quelli di serie Z, la trama di Sunfall è irresistibile. E anche terrorizzante, perché è un attimo cadere nel ridicolo.
Vi direte: assomiglia al film The Core. È vero, e devo dire che ero obiettivamente preoccupata di trovarmi davanti a una trama tanto spettacolare quanto assurda, mi ha convinto il fatto che l'autore è uno scienziato. E ho fatto bene.
I richiami al film sono talmente evidenti che viene persin
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Jun 24, 2019
Francesco Molaioni
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Jul 17, 2019
Steve Wright
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Mar 01, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jun 17, 2019
Miss C
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Apr 27, 2019
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REVIEW - DISCUSSION 2 2 Aug 05, 2019 01:56AM  
Jim Al-Khalili(born Jameel Sadik Al-Khalili) is an Iraqi-born British theoretical physicist, author and science communicator. He is Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey. He has hosted several BBC productions about science and is a frequent commentator about science in other British media venues.

(taken and modified from Wikipedia
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