4 out of 4 stars
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Timewise is a work of speculative science fiction written by Robert Leet. As a person who considers one of my hobbies to be keeping up with the latest developments in quantum physics, I was drawn to the premise of the book which I interpreted as exploring possible avenues of scientific research from the primary consideration of personal awareness.
This story was written in the first person of the main character, Ron Larsen, and began with his forming lifelong connections after growing up as an orphan in more foster homes than he can remember. His natural gift in mathematics, realized through playing chess and poker, lead him to a number of exciting life experiences, including beginning a PhD but not completing it due to becoming a multi-millionaire, as well as being the trusted mentee of a brilliant, yet generally misunderstood professor, Regina Russo.
I have rated this work 4 out of 4 stars for two main reasons. First and most importantly, I`m always very interested when an author explores the context of how Newton and Einstein were, to some extent, creatures of their respective cultures and environments. The particular words that these inventors used for their theoretical explanations as well as what other scientific concepts at the time fit their theories (viewed from the vantage point of history) continue to be examined today for possible research. The second aspect that I liked the most was that the author focused the scientific explanations onto what any individual can be aware of. I enjoyed his analogy that while science may seem like a baseball batter having to determine a pitch and commit to swinging at the same moment, different people make different conclusions from the same data therefore it boils down to what each person is aware of. I also liked the fact that the author did not take these scientific musings too seriously. In exploring the ideas of what else Newton and Einstein could have meant, science easily gives way to science fiction.
The second half of the book was fast paced with a lot of action. However, what I liked least about the book was the much lighter action in the first half due to the reader being educated on elementary quantum physics and secondly, lengthy descriptions of hikes over New England`s topography which together combined to set my expectations for a slow, philosophical remainder of the story. However, this section also emphasized Ron`s development into a first-rate mathematician due to always working hard enough to `burn both ends of the candle` as well as his focus on knowing his own and others` intentions which in turn lead him to better managing himself.
The underlying driver or catalyst of Ron and Regina`s relationship was the invention of a time machine based upon written computer code, absolute zero cooling devices, and mobile modules to name just a few of the many components. While data obtained from the near future was only for a limited number of seconds at a time and was at first dedicated to stock market prices, it gave the impression that the possible number of applications could be endless. Considering some form of time travel is a recurrent theme in popular culture, I decided this method of plot development was normal for science fiction.
This book has general broad appeal to many different readers because it is basically a drama where Ron Larsen needed to overcome his substantial obstacle of being an orphan while gifted with a brilliant mind in mathematics. Ron`s progress to eventual great heights is tempered by unexpected setbacks. For those who don`t have a basic understanding of quantum physics, only a handful of key scientific advances are described in detail and those few relate directly to the theme of personal awareness. I would expect that very serious quantum physics scientists may find the book to be a quick read due to the somewhat fanciful tangents as well as the existence of a working time machine.
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