cover image A Quantum Love Story

A Quantum Love Story

Mike Chen. Mira, $18.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7783-6950-9

Chen notes that this tender combination of romance and science is a “bit of a bookend” to his second novel, A Beginning at the End, albeit with “more semireal-but-mostly-fake science.” Carter Cho, a quantum mechanics technician working on the top secret Hawke Particle Accelerator, and Mariana Pineda, a neuroscientist touring the facility with her company, ReLive, makers of a new memory-enhancing drug, meet just before the accelerator explodes. The duo wind up trapped together in a time loop, repeatedly reliving the four days leading up to the explosion. As they try to break free, they gradually fall in love. Then Mariana discovers the accelerator can be used as a time machine, and sets out to save the life of her late best friend, Shay, even if she has to “break time and space”—and sacrifice her relationship with Carter—to do so. Despite the stress of their predicament, Chen’s charming young lovers find time to share some exquisite meals and tactfully presented love scenes. Frequent flashbacks to Mariana’s friendship with Shay provide sound motivation for her heroic action. This unusual and satisfying near-future time-travel adventure fires on all cylinders. Agent: Eric Smith, P.S. Literary. (Jan.)