I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Punch Excrow. I opened it, liked the main character, and then noticed the footnotes and the technical language. This book is hard science-fiction, meaning it places a huge amount of emphasis on being scientifically correct, or at least possible. Once I started reading footnotes, my brain started spinning a little, but I quickly recovered. I’m glad I didn’t put this book down.
The obscene amount of research alone put into this book boggles my brain, honestly. And Tal Klein, even while utilizing footnotes that could take up over half of a page, wove his hard science and research through the story in such a way that it made sense to someone with no scientific knowledge. Sure, I was okay at biology and chemistry in high school, but I’m a writer in my 20’s, so I haven’t solved an equation in years. Unless you count restaurant tips, which I tend to just use a calculator for.
My point here is, I’m not chock-full of scientific and mathematical know-how. But The Punch Escrow, even with all of its terminology and footnotes, made me understand the quantum physics discussed in the book. Sure, I’m not qualified to even speak casually about quantum physics, but I understood the things discussed in the book enough to be engulfed in the world.
Hard science fiction aside, this book is amazing. Honestly. Klein should win some awards. Although, his story is in development with Lionsgate to become a movie, so that’s a pretty awesome thing, considering this book isn’t even out yet.
And, honestly, I’m going to be first in line when this is a movie. I’m so down to see Joel and Joel² and Sylvia on the big screen.
Klein isn’t only good at researching and weaving science into his story. He’s good at storytelling. There was always something new happening, some reason for me to keep reading. There were multiple characters to follow, multiple plots and puppeteers pulling invisible strings. There were secrets and surprises and funny quips and re-engineered mosquitoes.
I won’t give away much, but The Punch Escrow is set in a time where teleportation is a real thing. Only, it isn’t all that it claims to be, and somehow, Joel finds himself in a bind — instead of teleporting to Costa Rica to meet his wife, he stays in New York. Except, he still arrives in Costa Rica. Because there are two of him.
Joel’s smartass narration takes the reader through the whole story, and it’s a great one. An easy five out of five stars from me — good writing, amazing research, great voice.