3 out of 4 stars
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Ron Larsen is a young man with a background in foster care; nobody believes he has much of a future, least of all himself. Regina Russo is a professor with some interesting ideas about science and the world—ideas that don’t always go down well with her colleagues. But when the two meet by chance, Regina takes an interest in Ron, one that will change his life. She makes an effort to pull him off the unremarkable path he’s headed down, believing he is capable of much better. Though Ron would much rather make a living playing poker, he reluctantly returns to school under Regina’s influence. He spends hours listening to her explaining her theories on quantum physics and the technicalities of time and awareness. They later lose touch as Ron moves up in the world, doing well in his career with the skills he developed mostly due to Regina, until one day he receives a note that changes the course of his life yet again. As they continue working together, Ron begins to realize there is more to his mentor and her ideas than he ever knew, and the implications could have far-reaching and catastrophic consequences.
Timewise by Robert Leet follows Ron and his associations with Regina Russo and the scientific theories that are the center of her life. It is told in the first person, from Ron’s point of view.
I enjoyed my experience of reading this book. Not only did I discover very few errors, the tone and writing style are perfectly calibrated and the imagery is captivating; the vocabulary is good but understandable, and the author’s way of telling the story is engaging and believable, suited to the voice of the narrator. Additionally, the characterization was excellent; each character was well-developed, bringing their own unique element to the story with their interests and backgrounds. Each of the characters that Ron interacts with teaches him something about life and the way we view it, and these revelations were always beautifully told and touching. These elements made the book enjoyable to me, and I think the writing style was what I liked most about it.
I also liked the way the author took real scientific theories and expanded them into the basis for the story. Though the science discussed in the book was relatively complicated, the author did a good job of explaining it in a way that was easier for readers to understand, sometimes including diagrams and other visuals to help with comprehension.
Although there were several positives, I did have some issues with the book. The plot was quite slow and didn’t seem to have a definite climax or point. I also felt that the ending was unsatisfying. Thus, though it was beautifully written, the plot was lacking. Additionally, none of the characters was very likable, especially the narrator, who had a habit of using people for his own gain and dropping them when they no longer served him. Also, sometimes the characters’ actions didn’t make much sense; for instance, their motivations seemed unclear or insufficient when weighed against what they planned to do, and the plot felt unrealistic as a result. The book was also more monotonous than I expected; for a plot based on the concept of playing with time, you would think it would be more fast-paced and exciting, but it felt a bit flat. The parts of the book with the scientific explanations can feel long-winded, and if you aren’t interested in this kind of thing then the book may not appeal to you, as the science makes up a large part of the text.
Because the plot issues in particular interfered with my enjoyment of the book, I would give it a rating of three out of four stars. I wouldn’t give it any lower because the book was very well written and put together.
I recommend this book to those interested in science; if you don’t enjoy reading about physics and related theories, you probably won’t enjoy this book. Also, don’t pick it up if you are looking for a light read, as it requires some concentration and engagement to understand.
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