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The Quantum War

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The eagerly awaited third volume in the number one bestselling Quantum Evolution series. An all-new, ground-breaking, action-packed new science fiction adventure set in the universe of The Quantum Magician and The Quantum Garden.  The Union-Congregate war rages onward and the Union’s premier fighter pilots, the Homo Eridanus, start encountering deadly resistance from strang The eagerly awaited third volume in the number one bestselling Quantum Evolution series. An all-new, ground-breaking, action-packed new science fiction adventure set in the universe of The Quantum Magician and The Quantum Garden.  The Union-Congregate war rages onward and the Union’s premier fighter pilots, the Homo Eridanus, start encountering deadly resistance from strange pilots on the Congregate side. Among wreckage, they find that new Congregate pilots aren’t human, but Homo quantus, with strange wiring and AI connections.  At the same time, the Puppets come to the Union with offers of an alliance for a dangerous price: the rescue of the geneticist Antonio Del Casal who is a captive at Venus, with over a hundred Homo quantus.  The only one who might be able to break through the Congregate defences at Venus is a con man who has given up his profession.


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The eagerly awaited third volume in the number one bestselling Quantum Evolution series. An all-new, ground-breaking, action-packed new science fiction adventure set in the universe of The Quantum Magician and The Quantum Garden.  The Union-Congregate war rages onward and the Union’s premier fighter pilots, the Homo Eridanus, start encountering deadly resistance from strang The eagerly awaited third volume in the number one bestselling Quantum Evolution series. An all-new, ground-breaking, action-packed new science fiction adventure set in the universe of The Quantum Magician and The Quantum Garden.  The Union-Congregate war rages onward and the Union’s premier fighter pilots, the Homo Eridanus, start encountering deadly resistance from strange pilots on the Congregate side. Among wreckage, they find that new Congregate pilots aren’t human, but Homo quantus, with strange wiring and AI connections.  At the same time, the Puppets come to the Union with offers of an alliance for a dangerous price: the rescue of the geneticist Antonio Del Casal who is a captive at Venus, with over a hundred Homo quantus.  The only one who might be able to break through the Congregate defences at Venus is a con man who has given up his profession.

30 review for The Quantum War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Homo Quantus return in the Quantum War, providing us fantastically evolving humans five hundred years in the future. This is a mix of space opera, wartime footing action, and deeper characterizations than straight action. Whereas The Quantum Magician was more of a heist novel and The Quantum Garden was more of a rescue operation, The Quantum War was more of an exploitation/war-readiness moral quandary issue than either of the ones that came before. The best parts, at least to me, all revolve aroun Homo Quantus return in the Quantum War, providing us fantastically evolving humans five hundred years in the future. This is a mix of space opera, wartime footing action, and deeper characterizations than straight action. Whereas The Quantum Magician was more of a heist novel and The Quantum Garden was more of a rescue operation, The Quantum War was more of an exploitation/war-readiness moral quandary issue than either of the ones that came before. The best parts, at least to me, all revolve around the question and use of the Homo Quantus. At certain times they are highly revered, sweet people with Down Syndrome, and at other times, they're cyborged-out savants that think a thousand times faster than normal humans. And they are forced into war. Refugees, the powerful fearful, and the exploited are all forced on a very circuitous path. As always, I love Künsken's exploration of what it means to be human. Even getting into SEVERAL new branches of humanity: the kind we create or the kind we become and whatever is left behind. Shake all of this up into some wild, often highly high-brow SF possibilities (damn, I love the possibilities of that Iron) and even some timey-wimey stuff that's only possible thanks to this new evolution. If you are waiting for some great new Hard-SF that doesn't fear to push those boundaries, then definitely read these. I do recommend reading them in order even if we explore new characters. It's totally possible to read these out of publication order, mind you, but I got a lot more out of this because I was already familiar with so much of the tech, the cool combinations of AI and Human, and the big stuff on the fringes. Definitely a fun ride.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Love this universe. Like this book. I've irritated more than a few people in pushing them to read this series and that probably won't change any time soon. All my faves return! Iekanjika is leading the fight for independence. Stills continues to use offensive language as punctuation. Bel and Cass are... Bel and Cass. And then there are the Puppets! I bloody love the Puppets and I was more than happy to spend time with them. ______ “Be the good boy,” she said. Some of the Puppet troopers began to w Love this universe. Like this book. I've irritated more than a few people in pushing them to read this series and that probably won't change any time soon. All my faves return! Iekanjika is leading the fight for independence. Stills continues to use offensive language as punctuation. Bel and Cass are... Bel and Cass. And then there are the Puppets! I bloody love the Puppets and I was more than happy to spend time with them. ______ “Be the good boy,” she said. Some of the Puppet troopers began to weep openly. They wanted so much to be the good boy. She wanted to be the good boy. So badly. She cracked the whip, finishing the communion. ______ Then there's the not quite complete , but still surprising change in feeling towards the Congregate. I didn't think I was capable of sympathising with the Unions oppressors. And I was right. That said... This needed a few more pages to fulfil its potential. Some conversations ended prematurely and not enough time is spent in other scenes for them to make the climax emotionally impactful. I'm thinking of the Bank reps who are really simple caricatures as well as the animosity that our protagonists feel for them. A few more pages to raise the tension and significance of actions would have made the losses feel (more) meaningful. Künsken often does a good job of executing popular tropes in heist stories but there's usually some mind expanding idea that elevates the work to exceptional. Unfortunately The Quantum War doesn't have that idea. Have to mention the almost, but not quite cliffhanger ending which is about as suspenseful as the Batman show of the 1960s. All in all, its a fairly solid work that benefits from walking the path laid by the authors previous work, but also suffers in comparison to them. 3.5 stars rounded up. I received an eARC from netgalley but I still bought the audiobook on the official release day.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luke Burrage

    2.5 stars, but rounded up on Goodreads due to good will towards the first two books. Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #473: https://www.sfbrp.com/archives/1921 2.5 stars, but rounded up on Goodreads due to good will towards the first two books. Full review on my podcast, SFBRP episode #473: https://www.sfbrp.com/archives/1921

  4. 5 out of 5

    Oren

    A decent, if probably my least favorite entry in this series. I had kinda hoped that Quantum War would be more like Quantum Garden and tell a somewhat smaller story that focuses on a few characters. Instead it takes more from the first book. It's another fast moving heist story that doesn't have much time discuss things. I think the real flaw is that main plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It was logical for Bel to risk everything when his entire race was at stake, but formulating this ridic A decent, if probably my least favorite entry in this series. I had kinda hoped that Quantum War would be more like Quantum Garden and tell a somewhat smaller story that focuses on a few characters. Instead it takes more from the first book. It's another fast moving heist story that doesn't have much time discuss things. I think the real flaw is that main plot doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It was logical for Bel to risk everything when his entire race was at stake, but formulating this ridiculous plan that puts himself and all of his people at risk just to save another 150 of his people never really added up. Also there's hardly any writing from Bel/Cass in Quantum fugue/savant state, which is a shame because that was some of my favorite parts of the last two books. I still enjoyed most of the stuff with the puppets/numen and Kunsken's writing on posthumanism, but I can't help but feel a bit disappointed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Folk-Williams

    Derek Künsken’s The Quantum War, the third book in The Quantum Evolution series, continues the stories that blend exciting space adventure with probing speculations on the philosophical and religious implications of altering human evolution. At the heart of these novels, set in the 26th century, are new human species, especially the Homo quantus, endowed with prodigious mental powers. A product of genetic engineering sponsored by the Banks that are one of the great powers of this universe, most H Derek Künsken’s The Quantum War, the third book in The Quantum Evolution series, continues the stories that blend exciting space adventure with probing speculations on the philosophical and religious implications of altering human evolution. At the heart of these novels, set in the 26th century, are new human species, especially the Homo quantus, endowed with prodigious mental powers. A product of genetic engineering sponsored by the Banks that are one of the great powers of this universe, most Homo quantus never achieved the intellectual abilities to predict the future hoped for by their creators. But one among them, Belisarius Arjona (Bel), is capable of incredible feats of abstract thinking, able to perceive the universe as a quantum system, at times coming close to the hoped-for ability to alter the probabilities underlying the structure of reality. ........ Aside from keeping a complex story moving smoothly to its exciting conclusion, Künsken is especially skillful in elaborating the novel scientific breakthroughs that drive much of the story. This is a series about accelerated human evolution that leads in strange directions as much for war and economic advantage as for enhancing intelligence. But there is a great deal more. So we learn about the details of genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, the mechanics of powerful space engines, the induction of worm holes and even time travel. Above all, we enter the fugue state of mind Bel and Cassandra can achieve and see the quantum nature of reality through their eyes. It’s a mark of great science fiction when an author can extrapolate from present-day sciences and plausibly describe the most unlikely future advances, and Künsken is a master at this. I was also struck by how deeply ideas about redemption and religion are woven into the story of The Quantum War. Saint Matthew, though an eccentric AI, has not only a strong conscience but places the actions he and his allies take into a religious context as well as an ethical one. Originally a creation of the powerful Banks, who designed him for “hegemony and mass murder,” he emancipated himself through a spiritual transformation, imagining himself to be the reincarnation of Saint Matthew and adopting Christian faith, a mostly forgotten religion in this universe. He sees the struggles of the puppets with their Numen and the Homo quantus with their intellectual accomplishments as different pathways to the divine, though they may not understand it as such. The Quantum War and the whole series (there is a fourth book planned) is richly rewarding and exciting to read. Every page is dense with invention, compelling human drama and wild adventure. The characters are both unpredictable and unforgettable.The Quantum Evolution series is for me one of the best of this century. Read the full review at SciFi Mind.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This trilogy has everything I love. There is a great storyline that keeps me wondering what will happen. I enjoy the hard science, the ethical questions, and the questions of identity. If someone is created one way (or broken one way) how much can they change? How much of their future can they actually determine? Questions of god and religion are touched on. The eternal theme of course, that humans can turn anything into a weapon, is there. The genetically modified races in these books present f This trilogy has everything I love. There is a great storyline that keeps me wondering what will happen. I enjoy the hard science, the ethical questions, and the questions of identity. If someone is created one way (or broken one way) how much can they change? How much of their future can they actually determine? Questions of god and religion are touched on. The eternal theme of course, that humans can turn anything into a weapon, is there. The genetically modified races in these books present fascinating dilemmas each their own. Parts of the books actually made me laugh. I have come to care so much for characters that I felt the heart break of the decisions and sacrifices they made. The reasons for 4 stars instead of 5 stars. I guess books happen at the same time in our lives as our lives do. The last week has been hectic and scattered for me, and this book didn't connect as strongly. Maybe it's the book, or maybe it's where I was in my life. The ending also, I thought felt very unfinished. Are there more books coming? I just don't know. I also had very unsure feelings about a few choices in the book. Fiction is wonderful in that way, because you can explore so many different ways of honoring people and of choices people can make to exist. I loved this trilogy. These are definitely some of my favorite science fiction I've ever read. I love hard science fiction and ethical questions. Will you love the books? Probably not my experience says lol. I'm terrible at suggesting books for people, but I did love these.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    A not great, not terrible entry in the Quantum Evolution series. It's hard to meet the bar set by an incredible first book, but this felt almost phoned in. The heist we get isn't particularly fun or clever - just get in, blow things up, get out - with no hidden twists or sleight of hand. I'd love to see this series conclude well, but its hard to say with the way its been going. A not great, not terrible entry in the Quantum Evolution series. It's hard to meet the bar set by an incredible first book, but this felt almost phoned in. The heist we get isn't particularly fun or clever - just get in, blow things up, get out - with no hidden twists or sleight of hand. I'd love to see this series conclude well, but its hard to say with the way its been going.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pile By the Bed

    Derek Künsken returns to the universe of The Quantum Evolution for his third of four planned volumes The Quantum War. Although readers of Kunsken’s works may also know that this series links to his most recent book, The House of Styx, set five hundred years before. Of the three Quantum Evolution books The Quantum War rests most heavily on that book with much of the action taking place in the skies of Venus. This volume opens shortly after the events of The Quantum Garden. The war that Belasarius Derek Künsken returns to the universe of The Quantum Evolution for his third of four planned volumes The Quantum War. Although readers of Kunsken’s works may also know that this series links to his most recent book, The House of Styx, set five hundred years before. Of the three Quantum Evolution books The Quantum War rests most heavily on that book with much of the action taking place in the skies of Venus. This volume opens shortly after the events of The Quantum Garden. The war that Belasarius Arjona had a hand in starting is gathering momentum. As part of that war, and directly as a result of the events of The Quantum Garden, the Congregate has captured one hundred and fifty of Arjona’s fellow homo quantus and is modifying them to pilot their fighters. Arjona hatches a plan to rescue the survivors – a plan that will mean using himself as bait putting his old team (from The Quantum Magician) back together and relying on a group of very unreliable Puppets to help him. Despite following directly on from the previous book, The Quantum War takes a while to get going. This is because Künsken has to catch readers up on what has been going on in the broader galaxy. The book also jumps between the present and the action of a few months before to tell the story of the man kidnapped by the Congregate to find a way to weaponize the homo quantus. Once Arjona has organized to be captured and the plan starts to tick into place, the story kicks into a high gear that it never gets out of. Künsken has demonstrated over and over again his love of heist mechanics and his ability to keep a bunch of different plot strands in motion as events play out. As always, nothing goes exactly to plan and the team have to either improvise or sacrifice in order to swing the action back in their favour. And as always, there is a range of colourful supporting characters and moustache-twirling villains. And much of the action takes place in the skies of Venus, a milieu that Künsken is incredibly comfortable in. But there is more to this than the action. Debates about religion, evolution and free will rage between the variously genetically engineered characters. The Quantum War is another fun entry in this constantly surprising series. With one more volume expected it will be interesting to see how Künsken brings the series home. At the same time, waiting for the sequel to House of Styx to start to show how the family that we were rooting for in that volume became the foundation of the villains of this piece.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    *copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review* The Quantum War is the third in Derek Künsken’s Quantum Evolution series, focused on the escapades of Belisarius, sometime con-man, and member of an engineered offshoot of humanity, designed as strategists and analysts, but typically instead shaped as contemplative, withdrawn introverts, driven in their genes to seek out knowledge. This is a story of humanity, and how we define it, and what it is. Alongside Belisarius’ group, there are the Mongrels, *copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review* The Quantum War is the third in Derek Künsken’s Quantum Evolution series, focused on the escapades of Belisarius, sometime con-man, and member of an engineered offshoot of humanity, designed as strategists and analysts, but typically instead shaped as contemplative, withdrawn introverts, driven in their genes to seek out knowledge. This is a story of humanity, and how we define it, and what it is. Alongside Belisarius’ group, there are the Mongrels, humanity designed to live in high G conditions, unable to survive outside of environmental pods or, latterly, space-fighters. I have a soft spot for the Mongrels, coarse and bluff and with a streak of nihilism and cynical humour a mile wide. They’re willing to die whilst giving everyone a bloody nose, and they’re a grand bunch. And then of course, there’s the Puppets. The Puppets are horrifying, and creepy, and also extremely real. Engineered to worship their creators, for all the usual terrible reasons, they overthrew their creators, and now instead use the descendents of those creators to keep themselves fulfilled, genetically driven to interpret the commands of those they see as above them, and addicted to it. Nobody likes the Puppets but you can admire their tenacity and conviction, even while being repelled by where that conviction leads them, and how it is derived. Fanatics, killers, zealots, they know their truth, even as they know they were shaped into it, and that leaves them as a rather odd branch off the tree of humanity indeed. And alongside these transhumans stride the common order of humanity, spanning worlds, skipping from star to star via archaeotech, managed by military and economic AI, and struggling to keep their footing. And in that sprawling polity, rebellion has brewed. Now war is upon them, and the stars are alight with the glitter of beams and the splash of carmine in the dark. And somewhere in the weave of it all is Belisarius, trying desperately to atone for sins of his own devising. The portrayal of a man living in the throes of guilt, but desperate to atone, well, that portrayal is detailed, vivid, and really very human. He lives in and out of a fugue, a quantum state which allows objectivity, suppression of the self. And that state offers new opportunities, new threats, and helps shape that small group of offshoots of humanity into a potential threat to the equilibrium of the worlds.Belisarius argues with his very nature in order to change the world, and to live out in it. And in that struggle, in that endless fight to better himself and be who he wants to be, he is also essentially human. There are others of course - old friends from the previous stories are here again, making better or worse choices.But also others - an intelligence officer turned interrogator, finding out where her lines lie and where she’s willing to go to defend humanity. A biomechanical menace, deciding policy from the hot ice of cybernetics. Puppets aplenty, being childlike, horrifying and pitiable by turns. And members of the Banks, the financial institutions whose creepers stretch everywhere, tying everyone together in a web of money and superior firepower. Oh, and the petits-saints, the moral center of the human Congregate, Down's-syndrome individuals, whose sympathetic and layered portrayal here is both in line with the origins of interstellar humanity in the author’s prequel novel, The House of Styx, and also absolutely marvellous. The story is, well. I won’t get into it. But it’s a marvellous blend of high concept science fiction, personal stakes, and politics, blood and fire. Questions are asked about how we define humanity. About what atrocities are justifiable, for whom, and under what circumstances - and some of them are skin-crawlingly awful, and performed under high stakes by individuals who may or may not know better. About where humanity is going, and what it will look like when it gets there. About faith, and truth, and how we look at either, or both together. And more, scattered like gems through the text and subtext. They are hard questions, and they are an exercise for the reader, which is a joy. In part, that’s because they’re wrapped around the very personal story of Belisarius and his confederates and his antagonists, who bring the stakes to a human level. That story is compelling, convincing and tightly written; I was turning pages way into the night. In the end, this is another fine entry in a series filled with interesting ideas, fascinating people, and intriguing stories - so go give it a read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Asher

    This volume continues to have a huge amount of weird, wonderful, genuinely new ideas, in particular about the nature of faith and biological drives. Unfortunately, it just wasn't as fun as the previous two books. The playful nature of the first heist and the excitement of the time travel adventure couldn't be matched by a book that spent this much time in combat and torture. Kinda a downer, honestly. I will, of course, continue to read everything in this universe. I'm assuming that there will be This volume continues to have a huge amount of weird, wonderful, genuinely new ideas, in particular about the nature of faith and biological drives. Unfortunately, it just wasn't as fun as the previous two books. The playful nature of the first heist and the excitement of the time travel adventure couldn't be matched by a book that spent this much time in combat and torture. Kinda a downer, honestly. I will, of course, continue to read everything in this universe. I'm assuming that there will be more to come, based simply on the number of hanging plot threads (view spoiler)[(Bel affecting quantum probability, the resurrection of the Hortus quantis, the Epsilon Indi scarecrow, the parallel axis mundi network, etc etc etc just of the top of my head). (hide spoiler)]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I've kept reading this series because the storytelling is so good, because I'm so captured by the dilemmas of the characters and their strivings to deal with a universe that's too big and too cruel (but rather amazing). But it's not at all the kind of thing I usually like, and with this instalment I think I'm out. In particular, I'm turned off by the high squick factor of the Puppets, people genetically engineered to be addicted to the pheromones produced by their enslavers, which fill them with I've kept reading this series because the storytelling is so good, because I'm so captured by the dilemmas of the characters and their strivings to deal with a universe that's too big and too cruel (but rather amazing). But it's not at all the kind of thing I usually like, and with this instalment I think I'm out. In particular, I'm turned off by the high squick factor of the Puppets, people genetically engineered to be addicted to the pheromones produced by their enslavers, which fill them with artificially generated religious awe; they are childishly naïve (even their names are often childish diminutives), fanatical to the point of becoming suicide bombers, unreliable, and utterly creepy, even to most of the other characters. I don't love this as a characterization of religious people, and the only other religious person (the AI who believes himself to be a reincarnation of St Matthew) talks about his convictions, but never appears to act on them in any detectable way, or even act in accordance with his supposed delusion very much. Meanwhile, even though Catholicism has supposedly died out years ago, Catholic-based swearing persists. I'll also mention that, in the pre-release review copy I received via Netgalley, the number of copy editing issues was epic, seemingly (at least in part) because the pace of the typing had matched the frenetic pace of the story. Because the story is well-paced, a relentless dark SF thriller that, even though it doesn't once slow down in order to infodump, manages to use quantum physics and other sufficiently advanced science indistinguishably from magic to pull off a complex-but-understandable plot driven by believable human (and human-adjacent) motivations. These motivations range from the absurd fanaticism of the Puppets through the paranoid, but understandable, misapprehensions of an intelligence officer to the moral disquiet and guilt of the series hero, Belisarius, who, in this third book, is trying to make up for and in some cases reverse the consequences of his decisions and actions from the first two volumes. His unique talents mean that his striving continues to have far-reaching political and personal consequences, costing a number of lives and wreaking widespread property damage, and putting entire sub-races of humanity, including his own, under increasing threat. (view spoiler)[Incidentally, I thought at least some of the loss of life was unnecessary even in in-universe terms. The Puppets were wired to blow up when killed, but the bombs weren't inside them; they were attached to them. I saw no reason (apart from dialing up the horror) why they couldn't be detached again and used without having to kill their bearers, once the main fight was over and the deterrent effect of "if you kill us, we explode" was no longer needed. (hide spoiler)] There's a scene partway through in which the intelligence officer is talking about how she despises her grandmother for her crimes against humanity while, at that exact moment, committing the absolutely identical crime against humanity in order to motivate a captive scientist to commit yet further crimes against humanity (which wouldn't be his first). It's utterly believable, and truly awful. And that, for me, was the problem; this book is meant to be disturbing, and it absolutely is. It does such a tremendous job of being disturbing that it's disturbed me right out of the readership for both the series and the author.

  12. 5 out of 5

    O.S. Prime

    This book shares some DNA (that's my effort at being funny) with the first book, but where the first was a clever, quirky, funny caper with fabulous hard-SF bones, this one has devolved from that great beginning into a mil-SF conflict of thinly drawn characters. But that's a bit harsh. To be more clear, the characters repeat themselves; they have not changed at all and do not develop during this story. (The one exception may be St. Matthew.) Also, there is more than mil-SF here, but there's too This book shares some DNA (that's my effort at being funny) with the first book, but where the first was a clever, quirky, funny caper with fabulous hard-SF bones, this one has devolved from that great beginning into a mil-SF conflict of thinly drawn characters. But that's a bit harsh. To be more clear, the characters repeat themselves; they have not changed at all and do not develop during this story. (The one exception may be St. Matthew.) Also, there is more than mil-SF here, but there's too much mil and not enough SF. I guess I should have been clued-in by the title. (view spoiler)[ In this episode, Belisarius struggles with his realization that he is the the opposite of a hero. His clever schemes have lead to bad outcomes, not only for the hortus quantus, but for many others. Künsken does his best to ensure that the reader has no struggle with this concept, as death and destruction due to this particular homo quantus are multiplied a thousand-fold in this installment. (Well, maybe not quite, as there is no xenocide this time around.) Oddly, all of this occurs with barely any actions of Belisarius himself. Then there's the Congregate, which a reader might be happy to label as the bad guys. Yet, if the reader has read House of Styx, that reader may harbor lingering sympathy for the Congregate. Plus, the threat of the homo quantus, from the Congregate perspective, seems pretty legit. Yes, the Congregate uses some dreadful means to their ends, but the same can be said of Belisarius. One wants to root for the good guys, but there are no clearly good guys. I did appreciate the long-view analysis of Section F. That is some good science fiction there. And the story does amplify it: The homo quantus cannot help but make decisions and take actions that put them on top at the expense of homo sapiens. So props for that. But the carnage, the long battle sequence, and the way the characters were treated by the author and by the plot, all combine to make this a less satisfactory read than the first two books in the Quantum Evolution series. (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fuego

    Thanks NetGalley for giving me a free copy. "The Quantum War," the third installment of "The Quantum Evolution" series, is a wild yet enjoyable read, but I think there're still issues that inhibit its full potential. The story is pretty well-paced and gripping, especially the chapters where the Union vs Congregate war rages on. Props to Künsken for still smoothly incorporating quantum physics and advanced technology into the storyline without distracting the readers by making them unfathomable. I Thanks NetGalley for giving me a free copy. "The Quantum War," the third installment of "The Quantum Evolution" series, is a wild yet enjoyable read, but I think there're still issues that inhibit its full potential. The story is pretty well-paced and gripping, especially the chapters where the Union vs Congregate war rages on. Props to Künsken for still smoothly incorporating quantum physics and advanced technology into the storyline without distracting the readers by making them unfathomable. I also enjoy his characterization of the Puppets just like I did in the first two books. Can't say I like them and their fanatical obsession with the Numens, but I'm far more interested in them as a species than the Homo Quantus. That said, the characterization in general is not very satisfying; all characters feel quite bland and forgettable to me. Two details puzzle me, though. In the third book, we get to know more about Marie Phocas, her background and whatnot. But her interaction with Bel's group is way too scant and what happens to her is too abrupt. So the aforementioned details turn out to be infodump and filler. There's also a chapter dedicated to a new female Homo Eridanus character, but she never shows up again, so what's the point of introducing her? My main issue, again, is Cassandra. She's still the most annoying and dull character like she's been in the first two books. I felt like skimming through the chapters where she appeared. 3 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Lewis

    *I did not get this as a free copy like so many reviewers, I pre ordered this and read it because of my love of this type of book. So many reviewers are reading outside of their genre of preference I think it should be noted when they give it a 3 star then say I usually read romance that they had no business reviewing a book like this to begin with! Derek Künsken is my favorite hard sci-fi author right now, I planned my reading around when this book was coming out, I made sure that I was done wit *I did not get this as a free copy like so many reviewers, I pre ordered this and read it because of my love of this type of book. So many reviewers are reading outside of their genre of preference I think it should be noted when they give it a 3 star then say I usually read romance that they had no business reviewing a book like this to begin with! Derek Künsken is my favorite hard sci-fi author right now, I planned my reading around when this book was coming out, I made sure that I was done with the book I was reading prior to this book hitting so I could just jump right in. thats how much I was looking forward to this book. This was the third full book in the Quantum Evolution series, there is also a short that came out earlier this year that is worth the read. You absolutely should start with The Quantum Magician as its a continuing story and you would be very confused if you were to start with this book. These books are among the best science fiction books I have ever read and I have read a LOT of science fiction. If you want a book that makes you think, has talk about the quantum mechanics of the universe and physics then this book will satisfy you greatly. If you also want an exploration of what it means to be human then this book will also satisfy you greatly. Thank you to the Author for writing more of these, I could not fathom how you were going to do another book after the end of the 2nd book but I am thrilled that you did! Please keep writing these.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Belisarius Arjona is back. and this time he's not pulling off a caper, this time he's working to save his own people. 100 Homo Quantus have been kidnapped by the Congregate and are being used as slaves.. Bel, Cassie, Stills, Saint Matthew, several puppets, a war Numan, and Marie have to work together to attempt a rescue deep in Congregate territory. Things go wrong almost immediately and Bel is captured by the Congregate.Once again, Bel must outsmart the Congregate, but how can he manage that as Belisarius Arjona is back. and this time he's not pulling off a caper, this time he's working to save his own people. 100 Homo Quantus have been kidnapped by the Congregate and are being used as slaves.. Bel, Cassie, Stills, Saint Matthew, several puppets, a war Numan, and Marie have to work together to attempt a rescue deep in Congregate territory. Things go wrong almost immediately and Bel is captured by the Congregate.Once again, Bel must outsmart the Congregate, but how can he manage that as a prisoner? Though this book can be read as a standalone, I think that having read the first two books made this one even better. The world building is awesome and the characters well developed. I can't wait for book 4 of this series!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Igor Koyfman

    Interminable meetings and negotiations, repetitive philosophical musings, very little action. Not even as good as the first, much worse than the second. The Congregate twists itself into a moral pretzel to justify its atrocities, I think at this point annihilating Venus would be a good and just option. Captured homo quantus are rewired to fight in the war against the Union, where they can actually match the mongrels, and Arjona et al are planning a daring rescue mission which is never adequately Interminable meetings and negotiations, repetitive philosophical musings, very little action. Not even as good as the first, much worse than the second. The Congregate twists itself into a moral pretzel to justify its atrocities, I think at this point annihilating Venus would be a good and just option. Captured homo quantus are rewired to fight in the war against the Union, where they can actually match the mongrels, and Arjona et al are planning a daring rescue mission which is never adequately explained. The book is full of plot holes and abandoned threads and feels like a filler volume in the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    The Quantum War is the third book in Derek Kunsken's Quantum Evolution Series - this one focuses on the developing Union-Congregate war, and as the Congregate starts using modified Homo Quantus as pilots, the Union seeks to rescue them in a daring plan. Plenty of hard SF concepts like the first two books, delving into evolution, wormholes, advanced hominid species and of course quantum physics. And this book does start to involve Venus and links to the House of Styx (the excellent first book in t The Quantum War is the third book in Derek Kunsken's Quantum Evolution Series - this one focuses on the developing Union-Congregate war, and as the Congregate starts using modified Homo Quantus as pilots, the Union seeks to rescue them in a daring plan. Plenty of hard SF concepts like the first two books, delving into evolution, wormholes, advanced hominid species and of course quantum physics. And this book does start to involve Venus and links to the House of Styx (the excellent first book in the Venus Ascendant series). But I felt this novel was not as enjoyable as the first two; it took a while to get going and felt a bit stilted under it's own weight of technology and heavy science.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Evan Ladouceur

    This excellent addition to the Quantum series (book 3 of 4) ups the tension for the various players/factions in the book. For those who have read the first two books, this progression will flow naturally, as different human “species” (quantus, Puppets, mongrels), nations (Union, Congregate, Plutocracy, Puppets), and series characters (Bel, and others) deal with pretty existential questions around freedom, self-determination, evolution, slavery, and genocide. Coupled with plenty of action (though This excellent addition to the Quantum series (book 3 of 4) ups the tension for the various players/factions in the book. For those who have read the first two books, this progression will flow naturally, as different human “species” (quantus, Puppets, mongrels), nations (Union, Congregate, Plutocracy, Puppets), and series characters (Bel, and others) deal with pretty existential questions around freedom, self-determination, evolution, slavery, and genocide. Coupled with plenty of action (though maybe a bit too much talk). Much more than a war or caper story. I like the favorable treatment of Luc, Down-syndrome character, who provides moral balance to both the Congregate and the book. I also like the intelligence agent Bareilles, who is harsh and manipulative but also sincere in her beliefs and not a simple fanatic. I did grow uncomfortable with how she manipulates “Le petit saint” but it fit the story and her characterization. Even the Scarecrows, who could easily be stock cardboard villains, are rounded. I think that while author Künsken works to make this standalone, it would be hard to pick up this book and read it cold. It is mercifully low on data dumps of backstory but that makes it more imperative to start at Quantum Magician. And well worth it, too. I look forward to the concluding volume and the sequel to House of Styx as Künslen fills out this fascinating universe.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mj

    In-between book A good extrapolation of the previous volumes. Some good warfare and confidence work. Sometimes a little bewildering in plot devices, but it can be followed. A little less magic in regard to quantum physics, pretty clearly an in-between book. Not a bit of real resolution. Just need to wait for the next one. Hope it comes sooner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Luiz Marques

    Excellent - I really liked it. However, I'd really like a small summary of the action so far- it had been a while since I read the other books in the series, and the beginning was quite confusing. Yet another "heist" in the series - this time a prison break. Great action and concepts. Interesting philosophy with the scarecrows. Excellent - I really liked it. However, I'd really like a small summary of the action so far- it had been a while since I read the other books in the series, and the beginning was quite confusing. Yet another "heist" in the series - this time a prison break. Great action and concepts. Interesting philosophy with the scarecrows.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gerald C Koesters

    curious I’ve been following the antics of this story since the beginning. Parts of this book had me laughing out loud and yelling enough for my wife to ask if I was having a seizure. That said, the ending just, well, ends. Kind of in mid sentence. I’m left with a bad taste and strong desire for another chapter.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This is quite good and will certainly be enjoyed most by readers of the series. This one has a darker tone than the other in the series. The author writes well, although I didn't like one as much as the others. That won't stop me from reading his next. I really appreciate the free ARC for review!! This is quite good and will certainly be enjoyed most by readers of the series. This one has a darker tone than the other in the series. The author writes well, although I didn't like one as much as the others. That won't stop me from reading his next. I really appreciate the free ARC for review!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Zivan

    Starting a bit slow, The Quantum War takes this series to another level when the shit hits the fan. There is not much new here, but the stakes are higher and desperate times require desperate measures.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steve Hunt

    Excellent Well written, engrossing, unpredictable and with clear character development and reasoning. I'm really enjoying this series and hope there's either book in it! Excellent Well written, engrossing, unpredictable and with clear character development and reasoning. I'm really enjoying this series and hope there's either book in it!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    RQ SLO LIB 11/9/21

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sotiris

    i deeply and sincerely love these books. go read them

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nicklas

    Inte riktigt lika bra som föregångarna

  28. 5 out of 5

    DaMaar

    Amazing

  29. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    An exciting continuation of the quantum saga. However this time the horror elements got too much for me and I sadly had to put the book aside about halfway in.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vajnis

    A rock solid 4.

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