Almost exactly four years ago, I sat down and binge-read Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. That book drew me in immediately, in a way few books have. It was one of – if not the book – that started my obsession with thrillers as quick reads. So, naturally, I had to pick up his newest book, Recursion. And it didn’t disappoint.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.
That’s what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.
As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.
But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?
When I picked up Recursion, I was hoping for the same sort of bizarre page-turner that was Dark Matter. And that’s exactly what I got. It took me a few chapters to get into the story. The pacing in the beginning of the book is a little slow, even though there is a lot that happens. There’s a lot of information being withheld from the reader, so I felt a bit disconnected in the beginning. But once I got through about the first quarter of this book, I couldn’t put it down.
I thought the science element of this book was pretty solid. Personally, I would have liked a little more explanation – I know this is science fiction, but I had to suspend my disbelief a little too much at times – but, I know I’m probably in the minority of people who like their science fiction heavy on the science (it’s one of the reasons I loved The Martian). But I did like how prevalent the science was to the story.
I also liked the characters. I don’t think this story would as well had the characters not been so relatable and interesting. This is definitely a story that needs you to root for the protagonist, and Blake Crouch makes it easy even though none of the characters in this book are perfect. Sure, some of them are pretty awful and some of them are clearly on the right side, but all of them are relatable. I’m a big fan of characters that seem authentically human, especially when they’re doing things that are decidedly not great or their motives are corrupt. This book pulls that off.
While I did really enjoy Recursion, I still found the ending kind of unsatisfying. Without ruining anything, it’s pretty easy to guess how the book will end about halfway through. And with so many twists leading up to it, it just felt anticlimactic. I didn’t dislike how it ended at all, I just wish it was a bit less abrupt, or a bit more exciting.
★★★★☆ – Overall, Recursion is a great sci-fi novel, no less than what I’d expect from the author of Dark Matter. If you’re looking for an addicting sci-fi thriller, definitely check this one out!
Recursion is available in bookstores now. And it’s currently half off on Amazon!
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Meet Cute as one of your two free books.
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