A stand-alone SF book with time travel.

Publication year: 2014
Format: Audio
Running time: 7 hours 46 minute
Narrator: Kevin T. Collins

Jacob Morgan has been appointment as an adjunct professor of history of science at the University of Virginia and so he’s determined to leave behind his lifelong obsession with Einstein’s final moments. Einstein died in April 18th, 1955 after saying a few words in German which the nurse, who was with him, didn’t understand. He also wrote some equations. However, Jacob is convinced that Einstein wrote instead some sort of confession which could change the world. Despite researching it for 12 years, Jacob hasn’t been able to find out what’s in the note. Now, with a job he loves, he’s ready to stop chasing Einstein’s last words. However, at the campus he meets Eddie Bellington who collects 50s memorabilia. Eddie also knows things about Jacob’s theories which Jacob has never shared with anyone. Eddie hints that he knows something new about Einstein’s secret and despite himself, Jacob is intrigued. Also, Jacob meets a beautiful woman and falls in love at first sight. A short while later, Jacob is fired and when Eddie asks him to visit a man who is supposed to know what Einstein wrote on his deathbed, Jacob agrees. A wild ride begins.

Jacob is the first-person narrator. The time travel in this book squashes the alternate universe theory and makes history (somewhat) mutable. It, of course, makes the story much more immediate but it also opens a can of worms, especially concerning the ending. The story works, as along as you don’t think about it too much. As the characters say “time travel is messy”.

This was a great mixture of fact and fiction. It also has surprisingly small cast of characters which makes it easier to follow the time travel. The only thing I didn’t like was the treatmeant of the story’s only female character, Laura. (Well, ok, the story has another named female character who is Einstein trusted assistant.) Jacob insists on “protecting” Laura by not telling her what’s going on, even when her life in danger. So, she’s left in the dark and even lied to.

Otherwise, I rather enjoyed this story.