Kimberly Unger’s spectacular debut novel NUCLEATION will hold you captive until you turn the last page

Kimberly Unger’s NUCLEATION continues to enthrall critics and readers.

For LIGHTSPEED, LaShawn M. Wanak praises the novel.

I picked up NUCLEATION expecting a standard space opera. What I got was a thriller that kept me occupied for days.


[T]his is a good thriller that will hold you captive until you turn the last page.

Deborah J. Ross, on her eponymous blog, agrees.

The verdict: A spectacular debut novel, at once thoughtful and exciting, packed with innovative ideas and plot twists. I’m looking forward to Unger’s next!

As does Gareth D. Jones at SFCROWSNEST.

An intriguing blend of hard SF, corporate espionage and conspiracy theory, NUCLEATION is a solidly enjoyable novel from Kimberley Unger that picks up several recognisable SF tropes and combines them into a relatable yet refreshing tale. Although the story involves wormholes, quantum entanglement and other high-tech concepts, the prose is perfectly accessible, throwing in jargon used by the various operatives that paints a clear picture of what’s going on without resorting to technobabble and info-dumping.

BEING ERNEST includes the title among their November book recommendations.

It’s all very NASA, with checklists for pretty much everything, and it’s a great mix of hard science-driven tech, a scientific mystery, and enough corporate skullduggery to make things interesting. I liked Helen, a cranky loner who depended on her friend and colleague to navigate the human side of things while her mind was billions of miles away.

On their eponymous blog, 14 year old D. K. Nurray concurs.

From the first page, NUCLEATION has no shortage of perils and surprises, but the fierce, ingenious character of Helen carries the story as much as the plot. As an operator, Helen has to exist in and understand two places – her own world and that of her waldo. This tension is the story’s mainspring. For readers who find the large number of scientific and technical terms confusing, the dialogue between Helen and her colleagues and the momentum of the plot keeps the story intriguing. Helen is part Hermione Granger and part Lara Croft blazing through a fast-paced story that is part science fiction, part space western.


I recommend this novel for middle grade and YA readers who enjoy speculative fiction adventure, fast-paced action, and resourceful female characters and don’t mind some colorful language.