The Place of Quarantine

Fiction - Science Fiction
368 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Vadim Babenko left his career in science and business to pursue his lifelong goal of writing novels. Born in the Soviet Union, he earned master's and doctoral degrees from the Moscow Institute of Physics & Technology, Russia's equivalent to MIT. As a scientist at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, he specialized in biophysics and artificial intelligence. He later co-founded a high-tech company after moving to the United States. The business soon skyrocketed, and his next ambition, to have an IPO on the stock exchange, was realized. At the height of his success, Vadim dropped everything to set out on his journey as an author and has never looked back. He was a finalist in the National Bestseller Award (Russia) and the winner of the National Indie Excellence Award (USA).

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

The Place of Quarantine by Vadim Babenko is an amazing journey inside the mysterious workings of the human brain, how its memory and consciousness remain intact even after death. Theo, a professional theoretical physicist, is shot in the chest by two motorcycle-riding men in Thailand and wakes up in a very strange place. He meets Elsa, who turns out to be his room mate, and as he tries to make sense of this place called Quarantine, Theo learns that he is actually dead. He soon finds out that all the people in Quarantine are assigned their individual mentors, functioning as counselors and therapists, as they try to remember the life they left behind. As Theo settles in, he vaguely remember the name Tina and the actual moment when he got shot. And as Nestor, his mentor, guides him in regaining his memory, an extraordinary tale of love, ambition, desire and determination unravels, and it is a story that has never been told before.

Vadim Babenko's Place of Quarantine is a science fiction novel that is in a class all its own. Applying the quantum field theory in modelling the human memory and intelligence, this novel is highly informative but what makes it even more intriguing is that it presents convincing proof that the human brain is indeed immortal. As such, it could hypothetically give credence to the works of the mystics, laws of karma and the concept of destiny. The Place of Quarantine is also a complex story of people in love and when Theo's, Tina's, Ivan's and Nok's lives are fatally linked together, one wonders if it is by chance, or is it simply the workings of the immortal human brain? Babenko certainly succeeds in writing a book that may well change our whole perception of life itself!

Mamta Madhavan

The Place of Quarantine by Vadim Babenko is a fine blend of spiritual and scientific fiction that tackles the topic of the laws of Karma, interlinking fates, and how memory and consciousness remain intact even after death. The main protagonist, Theo, is a professional theoretical physicist and has a critical mind. He is in quarantine and there he meets Nestor with whom he discusses his immortality. Nestor asks him to recollect the quantum field he had predicted, or the new type of quasi-particle, or metaspace, and about branes. They both discuss the symmetries of the Universe, the quantum fields in the brain, the condensation of specific quasi-particles, and finally the conscions, their vortices, and the recording of memory on the metabrane .

The book speaks about how memory and consciousness can be intact for a while after death, and shows a compatibility between physics and human consciousness. The author also successfully knits the story of Ivan Brevich into that of the main plot. The writing style is fluid and crisp, and will take readers into an entirely different dimension, which looks more like a complicated puzzle that has been put in place. As the story progresses, readers get to see how Theo becomes friendly with Elsa and Nestor and how his consciousness is awakened. The spiritual undertones running along with physics and death make The Place of Quarantine by Vadim Babenko intriguing and interesting to read. Will Theo achieve all his objectives and reach the goals of his quarantine?

K.C. Finn

The Place Of Quarantine is a work of science fiction written by author Vadim Babenko. Considering the scientific possibilities of whether the mind and personality can survive us after we die, the story begins with central characters Theo and Elsa as Theo wakes up in an apartment complex he doesn’t recognize. He is told by Elsa that they are in the ‘Quarantine’ of the novel’s title, a place after death where counselling will enable Theo to regain the life and memories he once had. From shifting timelines and complex systems of memory to interpersonal moments that question the finality of human life, Theo’s journey raises important thinking points throughout.

This is much more of a thinking novel than a standard narrative of fiction, and the style in which the story is told takes a little getting used to. Once you have, however, what unfolds is a fascinating new take on how we look back at existence and what it truly means to die, or live again. It’s clear that author Vadim Babenko has scientific experience by the authority with which his characters discuss those issues, but there’s also a great heart put into central character Theo which keeps readers connected to the very human considerations happening at the novel’s center. The prose is very well constructed and easy to read as it keeps us moving along the twisting plot lines. Overall, I’d recommend The Place Of Quarantine to thoughtful, philosophical readers seeking a new and interesting sci-fi angle on the afterlife.

Kathryn Bennett

The Place of Quarantine by Vadim Babenko asks the reader a question that many of us try to avoid. When we die, is there a way for our memories and our consciousness to remain intact? Or will it remain as we have always known it to be; once we die will all of our memories, experiences and knowledge just vanish with us? Moreover, can a man with a critical mind, a man who is a theoretical physicist, be convinced that it can happen?

I was looking forward to diving into this book. I love a book that challenges me from the beginning. A book that makes me pay attention and question things in some way. Author Vadim Babenko has written such a book. I also love a book that takes a character who is very set in a certain way of thinking, and makes them pivot and turn their world upside down, something this book truly delivers. Theo and Elsa are both compelling characters who have a fully formed story line around them, one that ebbs and flows just right. Perhaps the most surprising thing for any reader will be that Theo and Elsa are not living. They are dead and waiting in Quarantine.

Some readers may have a little bit of trouble getting into the way that this book treats time. Within these pages, time is not linear and as Theo travels through the memories of his life, they don’t follow a from birth to death straight line. As a Doctor Whovian, however, I found myself enjoying the fact that this was not linear, and I fell into the 'wibbly wobbly timey wimey' section. If you are a reader who loves something new and are not afraid to dive into a world where the story isn’t told in a fully linear way, you will really enjoy this read. The journey is an amazing one which, as tempted as I am to spoil it for you, I won’t. Just make sure you grab a copy of this book and dive right in.

Christian Sia

The Place of Quarantine by Vadim Babenko is a blend of science fiction and thriller, a thought-provoking narrative that explores the themes of science, reincarnation, and the reality of the afterlife. At the opening, readers are introduced to the key characters, Theo and Elsa. Theo is a man with a highly scientific mind and one who doesn’t believe in anything that isn’t logical and scientifically justifiable. But when he suddenly finds himself in an apartment stairwell, he is at a loss what to believe because he never imagined going there. But Elsa, who seems to have learned a bit about this place, explains that they are dead and in a place called Quarantine. Now with a new guide, he has to navigate his memory through dreams and determine events that led up to his death. Most interestingly, there is one piece of information that bugs him - can he solve that mystery beyond this life?

A novel that is psychologically intriguing, well plotted, and with characters that are real — even in the afterlife. The originality in The Place of Quarantine is one of the elements that caught my attention as I started reading. The encounter between Theo and Elsa is intriguing and arouses the reader’s curiosity. The protagonist is a character who seems disoriented, but the journey toward retrieving his memories follows his developmental curve. Vadim Babenko is a great storyteller and I enjoyed how he explores the psychological and emotional depths of the characters. As I read on, I wondered if there is a moment when the characters come to grips with their current reality and if there is a way out of this place called Quarantine. Great prose, crisp and excellent, wonderful characters, and a plot that is original.