This review was originally posted at Goodreads and imported here later with next to no spell/grammar checking.
When I complained that Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality had little scientific exploration of magic even though the protagonist was eager and well equipped to do so, a friend recommended this book. I was not disappointed.
It takes place in a world much like ours except that a new branch of physics was discovered in the 1970s. It was called magic because its practice vaguely resembles the old superstitions (staff, spells in a weird language, bracelets, drawings on the floor, etc.). It is however, a serious (if young) scientific field with well-worked-out theory and a widespread use in engineering processes.
The book’s a pleasant read and hard to put down. It focuses more on the world than on the characters, though. I didn’t really get attached to anyone, but they were quite intriguing and far from stereotypical. The final part was genuinely surprising and well done (which is rare).
Definitely an interesting read, though more to intrigue your imagination than to trigger an emotional response.