the Little Red Reviewer

Superposition, by David Walton

Posted on: May 31, 2015

superpositionSuperposition, by David Walton

published April 2015

Where I got it: received review copy from the publisher (Thanks Pyr!)











Imagine a fast paced thriller mashed up with a quantum physics book for a layperson. Now throw in family dynamics, a suspensful murder mystery/police procedural, and an unexplainable monster.  That’s Superposition. Ignore the terrible cover art, this is a pretty good book.


For such a short and ultra fast book, I liked how Walton developed the characters, especially Jacob and his family. Through conversations with Jacob’s wife Elena, and their kids, we immediately know a lot about the particulars of their family situation (one of these details becomes incredibly important later). As he spends more time with his daughter Alessandra, it was fascinating to watch him realize he might not be the amazingly perfect father he always thought he was. I won’t go as far to call the book heavy on “feels”, but Walton crams a ton character development into very little space. Other characters too, are quickly given depth – his friend Jean’s marital issues, his brother in-law Marek’s deep seated morals and loyalty. This is a science driven thriller, yet it read like a character driven novel. that’s a good thing.


To get the story off and running, Jacob’s old co-worker Brian randomly shows up at his house one night, terrified. Trying to prove a point, Brian shoots Elena, who suffers no ill effects.  The next thing Jacob knows, he’s on trial for Brian’s murder. Brian had been alive the evening he shot Elena, found dead the next morning in his lab, was seen alive that afternoon, and then was never seen again.  Jacob’s family has also disappeared, will he soon find himself on trial for their murders too?

I got my first jolt a few chapters in. Where Jacob is suddenly in two places at once.  He’s in jail for murder, but at the same time, another, identical Jacob is in hiding with his daughter in a church basement. We got both points of view, and at first, Jacob is completely ignorant of the fact that he’s existing in two places at once.    And then of course, we run into the old Star Trek transporter beam conundrum – if the transporter doubles you, and one of you beams up, and one of you stays down on the planet, which one of you is the real you? What will happen if your bodies later merge? Does one of you die?  So, not only does Superposition give an easy to understsand crash course on quantum physics, we also get this really fun (ok, not fun for Jacob!) discussion on identity and what makes you you, when there is a second one of you running around.


Jacob’s trial was a blast to read, with his lawyer trying to convince the jurors that physics allows for a person to be in two places at once. The two Jacobs meet each other, and have to come to terms with the fact that they will eventually, hopefully, merge back into one person.


In between all these tense and fast paced scenes, are these wonderful family scenes. Jacob getting to know his daughter better, Jacob’s friend Jean’s marital issues.  It was nice to see those heartwarming family touches in such a fast paced thriller. This entire book really does boil down to: What would you do for your family?


Like I said, this is a very fast paced novel. Which means there was only room for so much. I felt the end was incredibly rushed.  Lots of last minute evidence and additional characters thrown in to force the puzzle pieces together. Don’t get me wrong, the end works and makes sense (and some of the clues were there all along), it was just very rushed.
The sequel, Supersymmetry, comes out in September of this year. But don’t worry, Superposition doesn’t end on a cliffhanger.


8 Responses to "Superposition, by David Walton"

Sounds fascinating.


Thanks for the interesting review. This sounds like my kind of book. I’ll give it a read!


Just finished reading! I liked this book a lot! Walton did an amazing job of explaining the science without getting heavy handed. Although I figured out who the “bad guy” was way, way, way before the hero did, I could kind of understand why Jacob didn’t see it coming.

Thanks again for the good review. I wouldn’t have found this book otherwise, and it was a really fun read.


I’ve been quite curious about this one, and it’s definitely interesting when a family dynamic is thrown in the middle of something like this. Sounds like its worth checking out 🙂


I read Quintessence last year, and loved the ideas he presented in the novel, but I thought he fell a little short in execution and that things fell apart at the end. BUT I did think it had a lot of potential, and would check out more of his work. I like the topic he’s exploring here too, and it looks like things may have come together for this one. It’s sounding good!


Saw your answerers to the meme on SF Signal, gave me a happy smile.


I got the new one by James S.A. Corey yesterday. Since I’ve only read the first two, a while ago, I decided it’s time to catch up, starting with a reread of the first one, Leviathan Wakes. I’d already forgotten a lot of it, but it’s very good. Then I’ll reread Caliban’s War and then get started on the ones I haven’t read yet. LOTS of pages to get through!


Sounds like a good one. I’ll add it to my list.


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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