4 out of 4 stars
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Timewise by Robert Leet is a science fiction, fantasy thriller dealing with quantum physics. The story follows Ron Larsen, an orphan who is interested in chess and gambling. He meets Regina Russo, a physics professor with a keen interest in seeing Ron reach his potential. She convinces him to enroll in school and get an education, which he does. Though their lives go in different directions for a few years, they reconnect and begin to work on Regina’s experiments together while maintaining a low profile to evade an FBI agent with a personal vendetta against Regina.
The story is very interesting but takes a while to get into. I personally wasn’t very engaged with the story until about halfway in. The first half of the story includes a lot of physics lessons which are interesting but long-winded and take a few read-throughs to fully understand. In the second half of the story, there are fewer descriptions of physics terms, and more focus is given to Ron’s personal relationships and how they shape him as a person.
Ron meets and forms meaningful connections with several people throughout the story. These relationships were some of my favorite parts of the book. While not all of the relationships worked out, they were still integral to shaping who Ron was as a person. As an example, a woman that he had a brief relationship with at the beginning of the book taught him about nature and gave him a unique perspective of the outdoors, which he carries with him throughout the book.
The characters and their development are the gems of this story. While the physics are certainly important, I did not find my comprehension of them to be as important to my understanding and enjoyment of the story as I had initially feared. I enjoyed that this story was more grounded in reality than other science fiction books. A lot of the discussions between Ron and Regina were speculative and were intended as thought exercises but were still grounded in the scientific method and built upon established theories and principles.
Overall, I would rate this book a 4 out of 4. It has no noticeable errors and is easy to read. The only low point for me was the amount of physics lessons, but I ultimately found that my understanding of them did not impact my enjoyment of the book. The book does contain several instances of profanity and has only brief descriptions of sexual content. This book would appeal to people with an interest in physics who have some prior knowledge of the subject. I would advise readers that there are a few references to the 9/11 attacks and the trauma surrounding them that may be upsetting to some.
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