The novel “Entangled Earth” by David Lea was published for the first time in 2018.
Mia Green is in Paris for a physics conference and together with her friend Celeste took the opportunity to visit the Eiffel tower when something catastrophic and incomprehensible happens. It almost seems that huge and invisible bullets hit the tower and among the consequences there’s the death of many visitors including poor Celeste. Together with Bruce, another survivor, she manages to leave the tower to look for Abraham Lane, a professor who’s also in Paris for the conference, facing a strange situation in which the catastrophe seems to have struck the city and you can run into invisible obstacles.
When Mia finally manages to find Abraham, he shows her the recording of an experiment held in Cambridge he was watching at the PC where an attempt to create a connection with a parallel universe went very badly with the consequence that another whole Earth started interacting with their one bringing destruction. The authors of the experiment failed to stop it and someone has to do it as soon as possible because the interactions of the other Earth will become more destructive.
“Entangled Earth” has some very classic features. The scientific experiment that went wrong as the basis of the story of its consequences is a theme that existed since the science fiction’s precursors. David Lea develops it in a relatively short apocalyptic novel that tells the catastrophe caused by those premises, which represent the original and the most modern element, inspired by quantum physics.
The basic idea of the novel is an experiment that consists in trying to use quantum entanglement to pair a radon atom with the equivalent of a parallel universe. It’s a concept that combines quantum physics and multiverse theory but David Lea explains only the bare minimum to allow the reader to understand the point of the experiment. He does this trying to use simple words to avoid confusing the readers with little or no knowledge of physics, without resorting to excessive jargon.
Honestly I don’t know if this idea is really plausible but it’s intriguing for a science fiction story. By limiting the explanations, the author also gets the result of avoiding slowing down the pace and can also offer some twists based on that idea until the end of the novel.
The pairing obtained in the experiment is successful but the quantum entanglement effect doesn’t stop and expands rapidly creating a global interaction of the parallel Earth with the protagonists’ one with catastrophic consequences. The equipment that generates the pairing is still switched on so Mia and Abraham could be the only hope to avoid total destruction. However, a journey from Paris to Cambridge after the catastrophe is really dangerous.
After the initial part that quickly introduces the protagonists and the catastrophe, David Lea tells the journey to Cambridge with all the tension deriving from the situation that was created. The interaction of a parallel Earth struck different regions in a variable way but there’s no more way to use the vehicles normally used for such a journey so the protagonists must move using whatever they can. Every city, big or small, they pass through is in chaos with the consequence that many of their inhabitants are dead, others fled hoping to find safety but someone started looting and that kind of people is ruthless.
This choice of using quantum physics concepts and the multiverse theory to create a fast-paced action-packed adventurous plot is the strength of “Entangled Earth”. In every moment of the journey, for the characters there’s the risk of colliding with invisible obstacles so they’re never safe and the tension is always very high.
For Mia, the situation is even worse because after the catastrophe phones are among the things that don’t work anymore so she travels with the anguish of not knowing what happened to her husband and son, who stayed in Cambridge. Mia is the best developed character but all the most important ones have some definite personality traits.
If you like catastrophic novels in which scientific or pseudo-scientific concepts are used to create an adventure of strong emotional intensity, I recommend “Entangled Earth”.