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Squaring the Circle

Written by: B. K. Brain
Narrated by: Susan Marlowe
Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Physicist Sam Jacobson has made an astounding discovery:

A particle that serves as a direct line of communication to the fabric of spacetime. If a person conveys expectations to the cosmos, as he now can, reality answers in kind. 

Want to create a black hole in the laboratory? Done.
Make yourself bullet-proof? No problem.

But with great power comes great insanity. Left unhindered, the evolution of man into God could come to a horrific, world-ending conclusion. Two strangers, entangled like a pair of fundamental particles, are the only ones who can stop him. 

The first is David Sandoval, the executive producer of a once-popular television show, and he isn't ready to retire just yet. His program will be canceled by the network unless he can find a way to improve the ratings. An invitation to a mysterious laboratory might be the miracle he's looking for. The second is a girl named Eddie.

Pissing off her overbearing mother, popping psychotropic medications, trying to ignore the voices - these are the sum total of 19-year-old Eddie's life. But when forced into a surreal connection with the creator of her favorite science program, her world changes forever.

Eddie's meds aren't working, but that's okay. She doesn't dare ignore the voices now.

©2019 Brian Holtz (P)2019 Brian Holtz

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  • Courtney Odor
  • SPRINGFIELD, LA
  • 2019-05-14

Horrifyingly good.

First I have to start off by saying that this book was given to me free of charge for a review of the audiobook, but as always, this does not change my opinion and will not determine how I review the book or the rating that I give it.

This book was terrifying but in such a good way. I loved that I felt chilled and continued to feel the emotions that the author did such a great job of portraying.

Great read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • BT
  • 2019-05-11

Come for the story, stay for the voice acting

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this review.

Squaring the circle is an experiment that is used to show the impossible. This book explores complex concepts such as quantum entanglement, super position and quantum computing or other complex physics concepts.The book explains these concepts in an semi-complex but accessible way. It is clear that the author has spent time researching these concepts to be able to write intelligently about them.

The characters are well developed and for the most part explored, with their motivations examined. They are deep and complex and their actions are in line with what we've learned about them. The locations are familiar rooted in reality.

The plot surrounds a scientist, a secret government agency, a TV producer and a girl with a mental disorder. The first three come together in an organic and believable way. The fourth, however, is where the fiction comes into the science fiction, it is also the most likable character and the arguably the main character.

The story suffers from pacing problems and some plot inconsistencies. The physics of the world are based on theoretical quantum physics and pushed into a fictional place. While listening to this book, I found myself reminded of "Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch, which is a definite good thing. However, I was also reminded of "Rise of Endymion" by Dan Simmons. Specifically the part where it is established that 'love' is a force in the universe. While this book doesn't go down that road, it does establish several rules that are equally loose with rational thought, but also are not clear in the context of the book. For example, two quantumly entangled people who are indestructible when together, but not when a few feet apart, but are indestructible again when one has moved to another plain.

The story is told from multiple POV's and it switches back and forth quickly, sometimes after only a few sentences. For the most part, this only leads to some confusion if you're not paying close attention when the switches are happening, but sometimes it leads to a lack of focus on the time line. A sequence of events is explained from one point of view, then parts of it from another point of view, after going back in time. Sometimes it is vital, a lot of the time, it is not and only slows down the pace of the story. For example, if we left a character walking down a hall towards the antagonist, then it is revealed she has been captured, we then don't need to rewind and see her get captured. It is unnecessary and only serves to slow down the story.

The voice acting is excellent. Susan Marlowe does a great job at voicing all the characters and bringing them all to life. When doing male voices she does sound like a woman, doing a male voice, however it is not overly noticeable and does not take away from the story.

All in all, this is a good book, from a character and setting standing. It suffers from some issues around pacing and inconsistencies, though it does not make the book enjoyable. If you like books about theoretical physics gone bad, you'll like this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Marcus
  • East Coast, USA
  • 2019-05-26

I really just wanted it to end.

I really wanted to like this, but even though there were moments of salvation, in the end, it just fell flat. Around 4 hours in I was already ready for it to end. Imagine my dismay when I saw there were 6 more hours to go. I couldn't fathom how there could be that much more of a story to tell here. Well, there really wasn't, but there definitely was 6 more hours of something.

I think the main problem is that the author is far too verbose. Something that can realistically be mentioned and moved on from takes what feels like ages to describe in detail. And for what? Nothing, it's typically inconsequential.

Additionally, the characters spend far too much time in their head. We're in the middle of an action scene and yet we stop and let the character internally hand-wring over something they've already anguished over ad nauseam.

There's also far too much science. We don't need this explained to us multiple times, especially since you're just using some loose scientific basis to basically do your own thing anyway. If we're listening to scifi, we get it already, nugget of truth, lots more imagination. Just give us a STORY already.

These things basically amount to mental fatigue since there's far less actual story progression than there is internal dialogue, backstory and repeated pseudo-science explanation. Perhaps if the story kept moving at a swifter pace then it would be easier to forgive the shortcomings, but alas.

Lastly, the narration just didn't help here. The story is filled with men, and the female narrator (which makes sense given the protagonist) sounds like a kid playing barbies trying to make Ken sound gruff when she has to read their (voluminous) dialog.

Perhaps an abridged/edited version with a different narrator would help, but honestly, I just don't think so. There just wasn't much to keep the interest for me. The moment one thing is figured out, then the game changes and we return to internal anguish, grating dialog and new pseudo science. I just couldn't bring myself to care.

I was provided this audiobook free of charge. I am sorry to say that I can not recommend it to others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Layla
  • 2019-07-05

Thriller laced with quantum science.

You need to really pay attention to this book to understand what is going on. A thriller book with quantum science weaved in. It is interesting, different and intruging
My only problem is the pace. I wold have liked the pace to have increased as the book progressed by I found at times it was like a yoyo.
Other then this it is a great read and I would highly recommend it.

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  • michael martins
  • New Bedford, Ma United States
  • 2019-05-30

Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely

Squaring the Circle was an interesting science fiction novel which also deals with the moral implications of scientific breakthroughs and how humans deal with the power that could come with them. The term Squaring the Circle itself is one I have either never heard or knew at some point but forgot but it is an ancient greek mathematical problem that has come to mean trying to do the impossible.

The story follows Eddie(not Edith Anne) who is a young woman how has some mental issues and social anxiety, she lives with her sister Rachel who helps take care of her. Eddie is an interesting young lady and her favorite TV show is a science themed show called Squaring the Circle which she never misses(think through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman). The book also follows the producer of this show who's name is David and their stories seem separate at first but soon become 'entangled'. Squaring the Circle is set to be cancelled by the network and David receives a call from a scientist he has dealt with in a previous season of his show who claims to have made a breakthrough with his quantum computer and can do fantastical things such as creating a stable black hole. David thinks this could save his show the only problem is the scientist has stolen his computer and hidden it as the US government was in preparation to take control of the project as a matter of national security, and he is now in hiding and wants Davids help to get this discovery out to the public.

From there things start to go wonky, bad things happen at the laboratory, decisions are made, morals are compromised and it becomes a very slippery slope. Weird things also start to happen to Eddie and although she is 'crazy' it soon becomes clear that it is not all in her head as her sister Rachel also witnesses these things. Our different groups soon come together and it makes for some interesting happenings.

The science in the book is somewhat based on real quantum science but from there I think it becomes very fantastical but it is very fun and intriguing and brings up a lot of moral dilemmas that come along with having a great deal of power and how you decide to use it and what you let it do to you.

I found the book fun, the characters interesting and the science trippy. The narration by Susan Marlowe was well done and kept the story moving along at a good pace.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

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  • kemyd
  • 2019-05-28

Scary thriller

Very good concept on the whole black holes and "alternate" universe? Honestly I still don't know where the items went to, after they disappeared. So we have a psycho scientist trying to take his amazing invention as far as it'll go. He invites a tv producer to showcase the invention to the world, then things turn dark and terrifying dun dun duuuun.
Cool story!

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  • Johnny Reads
  • 2019-05-21

Original and great story

Amazing original story with a well researched and developed plot and characters. Really enjoyed this one. The narrator was good as well.

I received this free audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.