Monnie's Reviews > Quantum

Quantum by Patricia Cornwell
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really liked it

There are a few authors for whom I'll move heaven and earth to carve out enough time to read their latest efforts; Patricia Cornwell is among them. So when I got a chance to read a pre-publication copy free through the Amazon Early Access program, well, how fast can you say one-click? For years, you see, I've enjoyed the author's exploits of Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta This one isn't about her, although similarities to both the good doctor and her tech-savvy niece, Lucy, positively leaped out of the pages. Rather, this is the first in a new series featuring Captain Calli Chase, a NASA pilot, quantum physicist and cybercrime investigator (whew!).

The first thing that came to mind when I finished is that the amount of research that went into the writing of this book must have been staggering. But as a reader, aye, there's the rub: the subject matter was just too technical for my brain to fully understand the details of what was going on. Still, I "got" enough of the gist for it to be a good story - an exciting one, even - so in the end, it was an enjoyable experience and I won't hesitate to snap up the next entry (if only to see if and how the cliffhanger in this one is resolved).

Calli has an identical twin sister Carme, a fighter pilot; both come from scientifically gifted parents from whom they inherited their considerable abilities and with whom Calli still lives. As the story unfolds, Calli gets an alert of a possible cybersecurity breach, and she and partner Fran head to what seems like the bowels of the earth - a tunnel at NASA Langley in Hampton, Virginia (as an aside, having spent a fair amount of vacation time in the Hampton area, references to places I've been made the events even more interesting). The breach is doubly concerning because in a couple of days, a rocket is scheduled for launch on the same day as a spacewalk during which astronauts will attach a top-secret high-tech "node" that's expected to initiate a revolutionary quantum network (whatever that is). Should either event go wrong, the consequences could be dire.

In the secret underground room at NASA, Calli finds evidence that someone has somehow gained unauthorized entry - evoking questions of who, when and, perhaps most important, why. From that point on, things go from bad to worse; a NASA employee who earlier reported her badge stolen turns up dead, an apparent suicide, but Callie's sleuthing tells a very different story. As the time of the rocket launch and spacewalk grow ever closer, the more it becomes clear to Calli that something really bad is about to happen.The fact that her sister hasn't been seen or heard from in some time adds yet another dimension to the dilemma; where on earth (or beyond) has Carme gone? And is she somehow caught up in the potentially disastrous events about to unfold? These and other questions dog Calli, who constantly channels the angst of the always over-thinking Dr. Scarpetta (much to my dismay since it isn't a characteristic that endears either of them to me).

Oh yes - an animation feature called Kindle in Motion is an option for select Kindle versions, but that didn't interest me a whit so I can't speak to its effectiveness. In the end, I can't say I developed a real fondness for any of the characters here; but they're intriguing enough that, as I said at the beginning, I'll give the next one a try for sure.
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Reading Progress

September 6, 2019 – Started Reading
September 6, 2019 – Shelved
September 8, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Natasja Great review, Monnie!

Monnie Natasja wrote: "Great review, Monnie!"

Thank you, Natasja! Not a bad start, but the characters seemed pretty much personality rearrangements of the characters in the author's Kay Scarpetta series. Not necessarily a bad thing, but...

message 3: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Excellent review, Monnie!

Monnie Deanna wrote: "Excellent review, Monnie!"

Thanks, Deanna!

Mary M If you read this review you don't have to slog through the endless internal monologues of the book in which Calli over and over reminds us how sweaty she is under her gear, or how a traumatic incident in the past gave her a scar on her little finger, or how long it has been since her last meal. So, read the review and skip the book.

Monnie Mary wrote: "If you read this review you don't have to slog through the endless internal monologues of the book in which Calli over and over reminds us how sweaty she is under her gear, or how a traumatic incid..."

I liked it a little better than you did, but your point is well taken.

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