Einstein’s Secret by Irving Belateche is a novel that will bring readers back to genre Science Fiction if by chance they have lost their way. “World Building” is a familiar term to describe the environment an author builds. In this case, author Belateche built at least three possible worlds existent in a world which accepts time travel. There may be more worlds; readers can decide — the author profits from the familiarity with a little understood theoretician, Einstein. Schoolboys in grade school can recite the famous formula, but what does it mean? With this novel, Einstein does not pay attention to his oft-repeated formula. Einstein does not concentrate on gravitation theory. Instead, Einstein comes up with something new. It is a secret, but Einstein is willing to share it. The problem is, Einstein is dying. He has discovered a truth that comes complete with a dire warning. Einstein wants to give the secret, in writing, to a trusted associate. Giving it to anyone else would be catastrophic.
From the above, we know there will be an evil villain. There will be a race to discover the secret and keep it close hold for the benefit of the winner if evil wins, and for the benefit of humanity, if Jacob wins. The unique feature of the story is that the story takes place in the past, present, and possible future. Traveling between temporal states presents considerable problems to all characters. There is a central theme which I am happy to offer without creating a spoiler.
The theme relates to Belateche’s perception of synchronicity. “Synchronicity (is) History changing itself and making connections where none existed before.” (pg. 122). This quote contributes a lot to the believability of Einstein’s Secret. History becomes an actor rather than an abstract construction. At various points in the story, I found it helpful to keep this quote in mind.
Belateche did well with character development. Jacob’s character is difficult to follow because of constant evolution as Jacob becomes more aware of who, or what, he is. Van Dorn is not developed; he is just evil embodied. Einstein is not developed because his persona is assumed; everyone knows the famous scientist. Laura is delightful as Jacob’s possible romantic interest. For readers not interested in romance, like me, Laura is not a distraction.
I won’t repeat the biography of Irving Belateche. The author’s background is impressive and worth noting at the Amazon author page. I am sure that his position as a professor at the University of Southern California (USC), my alma mater, has nothing to do with my assessment of the professor as an author.
This story is a 260-page novel priced at USD 4.99 on Amazon. It is available on Kindle Unlimited, and that is where I read it. I purchased the audible download accompaniment for USD 1.99 and tried something I have wanted to do for a long time. I planned to listen to the audiobook and check with the mobi file if something was unclear. For the most part, I abandoned the audiobook early; the print (mobi) book was too appealing. The audio file is 7 hours and forty-five minutes. I read the mobi file in 3 hours 30 minutes. I am not a fast reader, but these figures probably qualify the mobi file as a page-turner.
The book has 575 reviews as of this post date, 40% were five stars. Although I also rated the book five stars, I can appreciate that some readers might feel it dragged in parts where Belateche detailed the plight of Ph.Ds. overqualified to find work. That is the case of Laura, a romantic interest, and Jacob Morgan, the principal protagonist and possible hero. Both have doctorates; both have problems finding employment. The difficulty, possibly qualifying as a “White Man’s Whine,” is a severe one for those in the stratosphere of higher education but probably one that no one not in the field of higher education cares about.
ADMIN NOTE: I like to post reviews daily, but an unexpected trip requirement plus prescribed drugs have kept me offline for a week. The medications provided a different kind of trip, one beloved by the Woodstock nation, and one that plays havoc with attempts at rational thought. The following is a welcome (for me) return to a predictable routine seen without the fog of stimulants and/or depressants.