Novel writing is an art rather than science, but for a man used to unravelling the mysteries of the universe, how hard can it be to make the leap? Theoretical physicist Jim Al- Khalili is no stranger to the printed word – he’s written a string of non- fiction titles explaining some serious science. He’s a gifted broadcaster and has already answered some of the big questions, but in this tech thriller, Sun Fall, he asks what would happen if we lost the Earth’s magnetic field, which shelters us from deadly radiation.
It’s 2041 and as the threat grows from solar storms and radiation from the sun, the discovery by a gifted teenage hacker of a cover- up over the loss of the Earth’s magnetic shield sparks a race against time to save the planet. Al- Khalili uses his in- depth knowledge of cutting edge science to produce a fast- moving, believable tale that doesn’t disappear down a black hole by bombarding the reader with too much information. Sun Fall quickly becomes a real page- turner. There are some clunky moments but overall it’s a rattling good read.