By: Blake Crouch
Reality is fracturing.
At first, it looks like a mysterious disease known only as False Memory Syndrome. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But this force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.
In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth when one of his cases drives him to ask questions better left alone. Elsewhere on a secluded oil rig in the middle of the ocean, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this terrifying mystery.
Together, Barry and Helena must find a way to stop the ruinous future from becoming the present. A future that already happened countless times and has yet to come true.
I guess this month is dedicated to emotionally charged and/or traumatizing books. Yay, another! This Is How You Lose the Time War and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World apparently didn’t do it enough for me in the mind-fuck department, so here goes round three!
If you want high-concept sci-fi with a twist, this book is for you! It’s emotionally gutting, thought-provoking, and beautifully executed. The best part is that it will make you want to stare at the wall for a while after you finish reading it. Just giving you a warning in case “mind fuck” and “emotionally gutting” weren’t enough of a clue so far.
I genuinely thought that I didn’t like books about time travel, but I suppose I hadn’t experienced time travel done right until recently. I see now that the genre can be very engrossing when a authors bring fresh ideas to the table. In this novel, Black Crouch explores the dangerous implications that come with changing the past to alter the future. While I don’t believe time travel will ever be available to us, I enjoyed the diversions and thought experiments Recursion provided.
I see now why this story is highly praised in the science fiction community, and I’m so glad I picked it up. I plan to read Crouch’s other novel Dark Matter when I’ve gotten over my emotional baggage from this book.
Overall rating: 5