I hate to say this.... because I know I'll catch a lot of flak for it, but.... this is one case where the TV series really is better than the book.
This is not to say that the book is bad. It's sorta average, a quick read with a lot of physics made very easily understandable by the layman, which is a feat in and of itself. (Although, I'll admit that I read some of the more interesting bits of physics to my physics-obsessed boyfriend and was rewarded with a rant of epic proportions about how it was all fuzzed. And honestly, a lot of it was.)
The climax itself was the biggest anti-climax I've ever read. Well, maybe not the biggest, but the book just took every bit of suspense available and just flattened it.
So, in summation, if you're curious where the series came from, go ahead and read it. It's fast. Just ...get it from the library or something.