This is the first textbook I have seen by a professional science writer. If this is a sort of experiment in textbook publishing, it is a spectacularly successful one…The result is an introduction to the field that is not only accurate and up to date, but—of course—well written. How important is the prose in a textbook? For students, lively versus leaden, or clear versus cryptic, can be the difference between understanding and not, between being turned on to a field and being turned off. For what it is worth, I solicited help for this review from a biologically inclined high school student, who read a few chapters and reported it to be both clear and engaging….In summary, this is an excellent textbook, one that ought to be—and will be, I predict—widely adopted.