The Quantum Magician - Ocean's Eleven in a creative future
The Quantum Magician introduces the reader to an interesting future where we have engineered a few unique sub-species of humans that are very different and original. The main character, Belisarius, is one of those new species - a Homo Quantus. This means he has the ability to enter a fugue state called savant and see into the realm of quantum possibilities. For most Homo Quantus this means that they spend their lives in solitude exploring the mysteries of the universe and seeking to expand human knowledge. In the case of Belisarius, he has chosen to use his quantum abilities as a con man and when the biggest and most elaborate con of his life comes along, he just can't resist.
Belisarius has been contracted to get 12 ships through a heavily guarded wormhole and he needs to gather an elite team of specialists to pull it off. This is a stretch even for a man of his unique talents and the group he pulls together is a rather eclectic bunch of individuals. In addition to an AI who thinks he is a saint, an unstable explosives expert, and a genetic doctor looking to make a buck, the team also includes a member from each of the other engineered sub-species, the Homo Pupa, known as the Puppets, and the Homo Eridanus, known as the Mongrels. The diverse backgrounds and personalities of this group combine into a volatile mix that is potentially self destructive, but it is also quite entertaining and it keeps things interesting as the caper unfolds.
Even though it can be overwhelming at the start, I really enjoyed this book and the universe is rich enough that I will definitely pick up the second book in the series when it it released. This can also be read as a standalone novel as it ends in a satisfactory way. The audiobook is narrated by T. Ryder Smith and he definitely did a good job of bringing all of the various characters and personalities to life. He had to handle a broad range of voices and he did so quite well.