This is one of the best books I have ever read. Thomas is like a new Atwood for me, melding the ability to create a dark new world with something so intrinsically human that it never seems that far from home.
Do I like this because I am a female university lecturer and research student with more than a passing interest in philosophy, quantum physics and the paranormal? It can't be discounted. But I also love the mystery and magic in this book which lies somewhere between Harry Potter and The Illusionist, the ability of the main protagonist to keep striving through adversity by creating new ideas and possibilities, and the raw filth which appears periodically to distance this book from a fluffy teen adventure.
It is fair to say that some of the descriptions of scientific and philosophical ideas are either too long or too simplistic, something difficult to gauge for an unlimited audience. Also the story when told from what appears to be embellished personal experience feels richer than that told from other positions, for example that of a non-human (to avoid spoilers).
However, these things by no mean detract from the overall feeling in the book and it was one of the very few book endings which felt satisfying to me, and was a multi-layered, paradoxical and wonderful idea.
I have read other reviews which say that the ideas within are so fanciful that it spoils the book as it is neither fantasy nor reality- I would argue that this is exactly the point- a thought experiment takes us to the limits of experience and encourages us to question what it is to be alive. Other books which may support this edge of awareness thinking are 'The Sense of Being Stared At' by Sheldrake, 'The Holographic Universe by Talbot' and 'The Field' by McTaggart.
A fantastic find for the curious.