4 out of 4 stars
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I truly liked Timewise by Robert Leet. I give this book a 4 out of 4 stars rating. It is the kind of novel that you want to read straight though without putting it down. Mr Leet’s descriptions of scenes and locales wax poetic. His use of metaphors are fresh and beyond the mundane. As well, his discussions of math and science, in general, and botany and physics, in particular, are engaging, instructive and easy to read. Awareness of the science is key and Mr. Leet gets you there. While this novel does fit into the category of Science Fiction, I do like the author’s description of it being speculative science. Indeed, the science in this book is real. It is what is done with the science by the various characters that is fiction. This book is for a reader who likes to be challenged to think while they enjoy a great Science Fiction story. By way of a story summary, let’s talk about the women critical to the story development.
The story follows the protagonist, Ron Larson, through his not so ordinary life. Along the way he is molded by his own abilities and experiences, but is particularly affected by 3 women. Regina, the physics professor, teaches him physics by means of multiple discussion sessions throughout his life. She appears in his life in middle school and remains a force in his life through high school and college, and right through his adult years. While quantum physics is her primary focus, she melds Newtonian physics with quantum physics, Einstein’s relativity, a bit of Stephen Hawking, and a sprinkle of string theory. (Don’t worry the author makes it all pretty painless and understandable, with just a bit of effort on your part.) Regina is his muse and patron in helping him become a premier mathematician. Their lives are entangled as they move in, out, and back into each others’ lives. Together they develop and refine the pretemporal information collector, a quantum machine that sees into the future.
Another woman important in Ron’s life is Cheryl. Cheryl expands Ron’s horizons. She is a botanist who uses multiple field trips and discussions in “opening a curtain” for Ron to appreciate the natural sights and smells of the earth. Here, too, the novel’s author is influenced by his poetic abilities and helps the reader gain an awakening of awareness of our natural world.
The third important woman in the protagonist’s life is Sheila. With Sheila, Ron develops a mathematical system using fractals to predict the stock market’s rising and falling. The system and the company they found is incredibly successful. Their relationship blossoms. Their life is idyllic, but can they sustain it?
This reading experience was thrilling. The reader gains scientific knowledge and insight along with Ron. Science is the foundation of this book. Mr. Leet brings the science to life, while at the same time breathing life into his characters and various settings. There are great descriptions of the personalities of his characters, locales and experiences to relish. You can see and enjoy the author’s experience as a structural engineer in his descriptions of buildings and construction at the appropriate points in the book. He pours his experience living in rural New England into his descriptions of the wonders of that countryside. And with regards to the science, Timewise embodies Albert Einstein’s quote (mentioned in the book) “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
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