“Quantum Night” by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace, 2016)

It’s been a few years since Robert J. Sawyer published a novel, his last being Red Planet Blues in 2013. With the passing of his brother, Sawyer needed to take some time off. Now he’s back with a new novel, Quantum Night, and if readers and fans might be wondering if the new book might be lacking in some classic Sawyer way with the time off, they will not be disappointed in the slightest!

Jim Marchuk is an experimental psychologist who has developed what he believes to be the perfect technique for identifying psychopaths. So he’s excited when he gets used in an important case to show his technique in action. But as he is cross-examined, he discovers a hole in his mind: he is missing a six-month period in his life from twenty years ago, from when he was in college.

He begins his trip down a strange memory lane he doesn’t recollect, reuniting with an old girlfriend, Kayla Huron, and discovers he was apparently somewhat abusive during this dark period, which was totally out of character for him. They reconnect and begin dating again, as he is the same lovable, interesting person. She is now a quantum physicist and has made her own brilliant discovery with human consciousness. Meanwhile tensions are heating up around the world as riots are, well, running riot just about everywhere. But Jim and Kayla might be able to work together to somehow have an effect on this worldwide tension.

Quantum Night is a classic example of a Sawyer novel: a near future with some cool tech, a complex plot that has the reader thinking and questioning from cover to cover, and plenty of Sawyer-patented wry humor. Fans will be delighted and new readers will be sucked in with this compelling story.

Originally written on March 25, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Quantum Night from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

“Every Heart a Doorway” by Seanan McGuire (Tor, 2016)

Seanan McGuire has a number of books under her belt, with both the October Daye and Incryptid series. Then there are the many books she’s written under Mira Grant. So with the publication of her new novel,with a new publisher – Tor, readers might be expecting something similar to what they’ve read before. Every Heart a Doorway is completely different to anything she has written before, and it may be (at least in my opinion) the best piece of fiction she’s written so far.

There is a special place for special children. These kids and teens have traveled to magical worlds, places of fable, locations that are disbelieved by our world. Then for one reason or another, are kicked out of their desired realm and brought back to ours. Now they feel incredibly lost and helpless and don’t know what to do. Their parents in many cases thought them lost and/or dead, and now that they’re back they appear to be wrong in some way.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is this special place that will help these children. It will take them in and foster them. Eleanor West herself went through this experience, and like the many children, hopes to one day return to her magical world. For now, with the help of teachers and classes and therapy, they learn to accept the way the world is, but at the same time are encouraged to accept the way they are, yearning for a lost world.

Except now something is killing the children. Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is no longer the safe, comfortable, welcoming refuge it has always been.

In some ways Every Heart a Doorway has a certain Neil Gaiman feel to it, but at the same time it is only the sort of book Seanan McGuire could have ever written. It is magical and lyrical and moving. While it is a short read, readers will want to race along to the end to find out what happens, but at the same time savor every word and page and make it last an eternity.

Originally written on March 24, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Every Heart a Doorway from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.