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Sunday 8 June 2014

Uncertainty Principles by Krista Tibbs


This was an original and surprisingly compelling story. Surprisingly to me, that is—the scientific element in the story had me a little worried. The sciences were not my strongest, or even favourite, subject at school, so I thought most of it would go over my head. It didn’t, and as a result I was able to enjoy a very unusual novel.

Five students team up for a science project, one they need to make a success of, as they want to secure their graduation marks. And so, they find a way to measure atmospheric energy to enable them to estimate the probability of the occurrence of events that are almost certain to be catastrophic. A life-changing incident involving one of the group halts the project. Four members of the team re-assemble nine years later, their memories very fresh still from the abrupt end to their undergraduate project. Each of them is older not just in years, but in wisdom, outlook and responsibility, the inexperience of their youth nine years earlier somewhat dissipated. Their regrouping, it seems, though strained, proves to be vital...if not life-saving.

I have to say that it did take me a while to work out to whom the first person POV belonged, and I wasn’t always sure when I was in the undergraduate time or the nine-year-later time. However, eventually, everything does fall into place very methodically. 

I enjoyed this book. The five students couldn’t be more unalike, but they’re cleverly juxtapositioned, a bit like an outfit with clashing colours that works well as a whole, and I loved that I really had no idea how this story would roll out. Add to that, intelligent and articulate writing AND—hoorah!!!—excellent editing, and you’ve got a different and top-quality read.

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