Official Review: Asymptote by L. Anthony Skelton

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Lest92
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Official Review: Asymptote by L. Anthony Skelton

Post by Lest92 » 20 Mar 2017, 07:13

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Asymptote" by L. Anthony Skelton.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Asymptote by L. Anthony Skelton is a science fiction novel that has time travel and its purpose and repercussions as its theme. The sequencing of the chapters reflects three chronologies: the author’s, the hero’s, and the general or Earth chronology. This means one can read the book three times; the main character’s and general chronology would show the reader alternate outcomes.

The narrative begins in 1993, when Harris Johnson, an elderly scientist, has finally achieved his life’s ambition: he discovered how to travel through time, and modified a TV remote control to become a portable time travelling device, called Pythagoras. Pythagoras is his final and only successful machine. Harris is thoroughly prepared for his travels to the future; he has turned a forgotten mine in the mountains just outside his hometown into a safe place of departure, shielding him from such dangers as solar radiation. Wary of altering his own timeline by interfering with his past, he chooses not to revisit or right things already done. With this decision made, he eagerly sets off for the future, hoping that humankind would have cured societal ills in the far future, as well as advanced science and medicine to such a degree that all diseases would be a thing of the past.

Asymptote is a novel about far more than the matter of travelling through time. I interpreted it as a work of perception, reflection about one’s life purpose, and the cost of ambition. Harris is an old man, a hermit devoted to his life’s accomplishment; these aspects give his reflections about life great resonance. He speaks to readers who ponder their purpose and mortality. Skelton handles his plot and character intelligently and such a light touch that the story lived and breathed on its own. I know the author has true storytelling talent because he made this intricate narrative move itself along with ease and grace. Furthermore, the author shares his wisdom with his readers as he weaves science, life experience and philosophy into a dynamic narrative. Harris has set limits to what he could do and where he could go in time, which made more sense to me than flitting off to other continents and well-known historical events. Staying in the setting of his childhood and exploring his own timeline established a tone of self-reflection throughout the novel.

The mathematics was beyond me most of the time, but necessary to establish plausibility. The writing itself is simple and accurate. Although Harris comes across as condescending, this is expected given his loneliness and focus on his purpose; this is a character who worked like a machine for the majority of his life, and his tone matches the way he lived perfectly. This novel has truly unexpected twists and I look forward to reading Harris’s and the Earth’s chronology to see how it changes my perception of the storyline.

I rate this novel 4 out of 4. There is nothing I disliked about Asymptote. The editing of the book is professional, and I noticed no grammatical errors. I recommend this book to all readers, not only fans of the science fiction genre because everyone can learn something profound from Asymptote while enjoying an intelligent story and empathising with a very human character.

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greenstripedgiraffe
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 21 Mar 2017, 07:59

This sounds like a book with humble character and surprising depth. Time travel is explored often in literature, but it sounds like the author treated time travel as a means to explore wisdom, rather than a means to an end. Thanks for the review!
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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Mar 2017, 09:55

I do like the sounds of this book. I especially like that it delves into serious subject matters like the cost of ambition as well. Thanks for the review.
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Lest92
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Post by Lest92 » 22 Mar 2017, 17:44

Yes, I must say this book pleasantly surprised me all the way through - I don't usually read science fiction but this one had me hooked because it went beyond its genre. Definitely worth the time to read it. Thank you for taking the time to read my words!

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Post by jhollan2 » 25 Mar 2017, 13:21

I'm a science fiction fan generally and I will definitely be adding this one to my TBR list. This was a very thorough and well written review and Asymptote sounds fascinating.

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Post by Stella28Ella » 27 Mar 2017, 11:21

Sci-fi fan here too. I am always intrigued by the universe and the science and it never fails to amaze me. This book sounds like a good read and I will enjoy the journey of reading it. Thanks for the review.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 31 Mar 2017, 10:07

Sounds like one great book. Though I already find the subject of 'time travel' overly used, this book seems like something I would enjoy especially the self-reflection part. Great job on the review. Congratulations to L. Anthony Skelton on such an obviously well written book.

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Post by Dh_ » 31 Mar 2017, 11:19

A science fiction book? About MATH? Yes, please! I just finished a chapter on asymptotes in my college algebra class so the title of the book drew me in, but it's way more interesting than I expected!

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