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Sunfall

Narrated by: Rupert Farley
Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Regular price: £23.99
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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Sunfall, by Jim Al-Khalili.

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 radiation from space is failing.... 

Desperate to quell the mass hysteria that would surely follow, world governments have concealed this rapidly emerging Armageddon. But a young Iranian hacktivist stumbles across the truth, and it becomes a race against time to reactivate the earth's core using beams of dark matter. 

As a small team of brave and brilliant scientists battle to find a way of transforming theory into practice, they face a fanatical group intent on pursuing their own endgame agenda: for they believe mankind to be a plague upon this earth and will do anything, commit any crime, to ensure that the project fails.... 

And so bring about humanity's end. 

©2019 Jim Al-Khalili (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

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  • 21-04-19

Great Science, good Fiction

As you would hope and expect, Jim's science is immaculate - covering a little understood and intriguing aspect of our planet's behaviour, its irregular swapping of North and South magnetic poles. As this reversal is "overdue" in geological terms, the phenomenon provides an excellent opportunity for exploring what its consequences might be for our modern world. I heard Jim say that all his speculations in this novel are based on sound scientific principles and I feel I have learned quite a lot from this book, while enjoying the fiction as the drama unfolds.

While science is fundamental to the book, I think there is a good balance between this and the storyline that provides for decent page-turning action. I can readily imagine a movie script-writer turning this into a high-tech blockbuster (though it might end up dumbed down). The narration is okay too, though for my ear sometimes lacked pace and confidence in the scientific elements. For a first novel, I think this is a fine result and I hope Jim finds the time and interest to write more fictional works that bring new scientific ideas to a wide audience.