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The Quantum Magician

Narrated by: T. Ryder Smith
Series: The Quantum Evolution, Book 1
Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Summary

The breathtaking debut from acclaimed short story writer Derek Kunsken

Belisarius is a quantum man, an engineered Homo quantus who fled the powerful insight of dangerously addictive quantum senses. He found a precarious balance as a con man, but when a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, he must embrace his birthright to even try. In fact, the job is so big that he'll need a crew built from all the new sub-branches of humanity. If he succeeds, he might trigger an interstellar war, but success might also point the way to the next step of Homo quantus evolution.

©2018 Derek Kunsken (P)2018 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Original & gripping

For some reasons, I had some misgivings initially but they were unfounded. An interesting story set in a universe that is quite unusual. Good characters and well-written. I wasn't sure if the narration at first but it turned out to be a really good performance.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Home is where the mind is.

Simply stunning.
That's it, really. Not sure quite what else to say.
Well, all right then:

This is the story of a galactic sized con, perpetrated by a team of idiosyncratic experts brought together by the master conman, Belasarius, himself an homo quantus. It is set some time in the far future when 'humans have done a terrible job of their own evolution', creating new sub species including the Puppets, a race originally created to be happy slaves so given the total belief in the divinity of their masters - now these are one truly creepy crowd. The other main players are also imaginatively blessed with exceptional abilities and all are brought to life as living beings with Derek Kunsken's masterful writing.

This is a thriller with benefits. A lot of hard science, much of which, I confess, went over my head despite the fascinating explanations which slotted effortlessly into the storyline without distracting from the main event. But this didn't matter, just added to the awe and magic of the construct. The characterisation and world building were excellent and conversations and interactions felt real. Also the concepts of what it is to be human, of religion and life itself. All this, and the heist to surpass all others.

To cope with it all, the narration had to be something special, too, and it is. At first, I was a little unsure about the timbre of T.Ryder Smith's voice, but I need not have worried. He morphed into so many very distinctively different characters it was hard to believe he was just one person and the text was read impecably, with clarity, intonation and just a touch of emotion. An excellent performance of an outrageously good story. This is one of the very few books which I know I will listen to again in the future as well as pestering other people to read it.
Really, it was a truly great read.
Go on, get it . You know you want to read it, too!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story. from the beginning to the end.

The science behind it felt very real.
I could really imagine the world and characters with great detail.

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  • Zach
  • 08-11-18

Just when I had given up.... jack pot!

I read a lot of sci-fi because I like smart , imaginative stories. Sometimes I worry that I’ve read all the sci-fi that suits my preferences.

I enjoyed this book so much. It’s has hard science combined with creativite concepts and creates totally fresh cultures / species. The Puppets blew my mind. The author reveals more about the cultures as the book progresses.

Because reviews help me to decide I’m going to list some authors I enjoy:

Joel Shepherd, Alastair Reynolds, M Banks, Hamiliton , Morgan, Donaldson, Asher , Watts , Robinson, Gibson, and others but you get the idea.

I hope this helps.

275 of 289 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Helena T.
  • 03-01-19

In my - ‘love to reread’ list.

What’s not to love about a story you can become totally absorbed in?

I particularly loved the resonance of the different characters, in terms of their language differences. It was only the latter part of the story, during the heist, that I could imagine them more fully (that for me was a bit of a downside). Having said that, it’s so hard to pick a favourite character from the team - but the colourful language of Stills was some of the funniest cursing sequences I’ve ever heard. I loved them! Marie was amazing and much of her persona was given greater depth by T. Ryder Smith.

If you want pace, this is for you. If you like the idea of the Ocean’s Eleven series crossed with Mission Impossible but on a galactic stage, this is for you.

I gave this performance rating because ... T. Ryder Smith is an outstanding storyteller, reading this as the fast paced, energized story it is, but still left additional urgency for the climax. A thrill to listen to.

I gave this story rating because ... If you think hard sci-fi is emotionally barren - THINK AGAIN! It’s science, yes; be prepared to laugh out loud, frown at some worldly atrocities, embrace the weird, and sealed with a kiss. Impossible - right? No: Derek Kunsken, is, a true magician of story.

Overall, I was totally absorbed, and I can’t wait to find out if the story continues.

63 of 66 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graduate Student
  • 25-03-19

WOW

OH MY GOD this book is SO good!!! I'm on here actually looking to see if there's a sequel. I have just been blown away by this book. It's everything I hoped for...and more. I usually like Alastair Reynolds, Peter Hamilton, Greg Egan type stuff. It's so creative and original. He paints such a wonderful picture; I can actually see things happening. It's got some amazing hard sci fi ideas. I'll sometimes read something if it's got cool sci fi in it, but this one has amazing character development as well. I really cannot think of one bad thing to say about it. Mr. Kunsken, PLEASE write more!! The performance is stellar too. He adds a slightly unique voice to each character that makes it really easy to keep track of who's talking. Love the whole package.

152 of 161 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • pondo
  • 24-04-19

Rigged reviews

It seems lately that audible reviews are rigged. I've gotten to the point where if I read a glowing review, I click on the customer and see how many reviews they have submitted (if less than 3 I disregaurd the review), Point being, this is a genuine review. This book is really good and well worth the credit. I listen to A LOT of audible books. Lately I've been coming across a lot of garbage, I've probaly got ten books in my library I can't persuade myself to finish. This book finished itself and I wished there was more. Further, T. Ryder Smith was a badass narrator, he did a french girl who was amazing, and a puppet that was also outstanding. Mr Kunsken really got lucky with this narrator, he simply crushed it, making the book come to life, tone and inflection was spot on at all times, Kudos. I personally thank Derek for producing a quality story that I thoroughly enjoyed and eagerly await the next book.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Jed
  • 14-03-19

Good story. Fantastic narration

the story about a wormhole-based confidence scheme/heist is pretty good. but what really makes the book is the narration.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Big Dee
  • 13-10-18

Amazing

The book was a caper mixed with a love story. Very well done. The Narration was amazing and it was times I had to stop what I was doing and brace myself during a climactic scene.

42 of 46 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SciFi Respector
  • 17-03-19

Mind blowing

This book introduces a so many great concepts and contemplations and manages to weave them all into an awesome action packed yarn.
Parts of the story can be a little dense, as the author is definitely not afraid of geeking out a little bit, but it all works to tell the story so stick with it.
It’s a full and complete story, unlike so many other “firsts” in a sequence, but it portrays a rich and interesting universe so there’s plenty of room to keep going. Looking foreword to more!

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Ledbetter
  • 07-12-18

My kind of SF

Loved this book. One of the best I've read all year. The author created a very rich, dark and interesting future for humanity,and one filled with amazing characters. Marie was my favorite. What a loose cannon! The complexity and imagination reminded me of books like "Hyperion" and "The Reality Dysfunction." Good stuff! More please.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • gjm
  • 02-01-19

An instant classic

Imaginative hard science fiction mixed with realistic characters and excellent world building; the start of something that will last a long time. A throwback to thinking science fiction as much as action adventure. I won't go into detail. Buy it. You'll understand.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • donald
  • 21-01-19

Hard-ish Science Fiction

If you have Enjoyed Iain M. Banks give this a try. Hard Science Fiction mostly. Rated PG-13 for language. Great Narrative Performance.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful