3 out of 4 stars
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Timewise by Robert Leet is a contemporary science fiction novel with a heavy emphasis on science. The story reads much like a memoir, going through the life of Ron Larsen from the moment he meets Regina Russo.
Ron first meets Regina when playing chess to earn a little cash and instantly falls in love with the older woman. She quickly becomes an important person in his life as his mentor and benefactor to put him through college. Regina also teaches Ron her many experimental physics theories, centered around the concept that awareness creates time. But the more Ron plunges into these theories, and the more they start to experiment, the more dangerous it becomes, especially when the FBI comes along and meddling with their affairs.
I quite enjoyed the story, as I thought the premise was great. Who wouldn't want to look into the future? However, the story progressed at a slow pace, which made it boring at times. It became clear that I wasn't that into the actual science, as I often skimmed through the parts where Regina and Ron delved into another physics lecture. While the physics itself was explained quite well, and the author used helpful allegories to explain difficult concepts, it felt too much like reading a physics text-book. And you know what? Skipping over the physics explanations didn't change my understanding of the plot at all. The immense amount of details aren't necessary for the story—it only slowed it down.
As far as characters go, I thought the author did a brilliant job. Due to the first-person narrative, I could relate to Ron and understand his thoughts and emotions. I enjoyed seeing him grow from a teenager to an adult. The other characters all had different personalities and seemed realistic to me. The only issue I had was that apparently every female side-character introduced (apart from Regina Russo) ended up sleeping with him. As if they didn't serve any other purpose.
The world created by the author was very realistic, mainly because of the mention of real-world events, such as the dot-com bubble burst and 9/11. I admit that the inclusion of the physics explanations made looking into the future more plausible, although I think it didn't need to be as detailed. However, I can imagine that physics-enthusiasts will love the amount of detail given in this book.
I thought the writing quality was solid, but it could've been more active. There were many passive passages where the story was told, where showing would've engaged the reader more. The ending of the story also wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped. While the story does come full circle, I feel that the possibilities of looking into the future weren't exploited as much, and the way things wrapped-up seemed anti-climactic.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I thought it was good, with quality writing, but it didn't hold my interest throughout. I would recommend this book if you are really into physics and love to read a book with many scientific details.
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