Published by Nosy Crow on 5th April 2018
Source: Nosy Crow sent it
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How do you know you really exist?
It's Maisie's birthday and she can't wait to open her presents. She's hoping for the things she needs to build her own nuclear reactor. But she wakes to an empty house and outside the front door is nothing but a terrifying, all-consuming blackness. Trapped in an ever-shifting reality, Maisie knows that she will have to use the laws of the universe and the love of her family to survive. And even that might not be enough...
A mind-bending mystery for anyone who's ever asked questions. From the author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright and The Jamie Drake Equation.
Reviewed by Alex
This book is about a girl called Maisie (I think you would be able figure that out from the title!) whose life is shifting between her real life and an infinite void of darkness that is surrounding her house.
This book changes from one chapter about Maisie’s real life and another about Maisie in the void of darkness. I liked this because it made the story interesting.
I don’t have a favourite character from this story because I like them all the same. I liked Maisie because she was smart and she used it to save herself in the story.
My favourite part was when Maisie found out why she was in the abyss of darkness and who did it for her.
If you like guessing what will happen next in stories you should read this book because it is kind if a mystery. It’s also a science book because I learnt lots of things about space while I was reading it.
Guest Post from Christopher Edge
From Grade D to Infinity:
How I researched The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day
My latest novel The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day is about a girl called Maisie who’s a bit of a science whiz. She passed her GCSE Maths and Science exams at the age of seven, her A Levels when she was nine, and, as the story starts on her tenth birthday, is now studying for a degree in Mathematics and Physics at the Open University. But when Maisie wakes up in an empty house with no sign of her mum, dad or elder sister, Lily, and then opens the front door to see a dense, terrifying blackness outside, Maisie quickly realises that her birthday isn’t going to be any ordinary day… Trapped in an ever-shifting reality, Maisie has to use the laws of the universe and the love of her family to survive.
As you can probably tell scientific ideas are woven into the fabric of this novel, even though I use them to tell what I hope is a very human story about love, family and loss. The challenge for me as someone who got a grade D in his GCSE Physics exam is to present these scientific theories in a truthful way that my readers can understand. And to help with this, I needed to read a lot of books!
The acknowledgements page at the back of The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day lists all the books I consulted from scientists such as Professor Brian Cox, Carlo Rovelli, Max Tegmark, John D. Barrow, Stuart Clark, Christophe Galfard and Brian Clegg. But of all the books I read when researching The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day only one makes an appearance in the novel itself and this is A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. As Maisie says in the story:
‘With a title like that, I’d thought it was going to be some completely boring book about the history of clocks, but it was actually all about the Big Bang, black holes and how the universe works. It was the best book I’d ever read.’
As well as sitting up late at night reading books about black holes, watching science documentaries about the Big Bang and listening to discussions of the nature of reality on The Infinite Monkey Cage, I also consulted some real-life scientists. Of particular help was the science teacher and writer Alom Shaha who helped me to ensure that any scientific facts and theories touched on in the story were presented accurately. (And if you’re a science fan or have a keen budding scientist at home check out Alom’s wonderful book Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder.)
On the evening of Saturday 16th June, I have an event at the Royal Institution where I’ll be joined by Cosmologist Andrew Pontzen and the BAFTA-nominated science presenter Fran Scott at an event to illuminate the exciting physics and cosmology that can be found inside The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day. The Royal Institution are describing this as “the perfect event for science enthusiasts and bookworms alike!” and to say that I’m absolutely thrilled about it would be a bit of an understatement, but to be honest I’m also a little bit intimated too at the prospect of standing on the same stage that has been graced by great scientists such as Michael Faraday, Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and more.
Issac Newton once said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” and that’s how I approach the writing of my novels: using sparks of science to tell stories about what it means to be human. I’ll take inspiration from this quotation as I step into the Theatre at the Royal Institution and, if you can make, please come and join me there in June.