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Recursion by Blake Crouch #BookReview

Memory makes reality. 

That’s what NYC 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?

At once a relentless pageturner and an intricate science-fiction puzzlebox about time, identity, and memory, Recursion is a thriller as only Blake Crouch could imagine it—and his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date.

Recursion book cover

Title: Recursion | Author: Blake Crouch | Publisher: Crown Publishing Group | Pub. Date: 11 – June – 2019 | Pages: 336 | ISBN13: 9781524759780 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: Child death (teen) | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received from Netgalley for review consideration

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Recursion Review

The premise is so fascinating. What if we had the ability to remake memories? What if we could go back in time, knowing all that we know now, and relive things? Would we make different decisions? What would the power of having just general knowledge of the future do to us? I think we’ve all thought about it. As a parent who has lost a child I’ve thought about it probably more than is healthy because I can pinpoint the one decision I made that changed my life for the worse. Perhaps that’s why the second line on the back cover caught me so much. It’s ultimately the reason I requested the book.

My son has been erased.” Those are the last words the woman tells Barry Sutton, before she leaps from the Manhattan rooftop.”

So, yeah, the premise hooked me immediately. However, the writing did not. I nearly DNFed Recursion so many times because I just could not get into it. It felt dry and methodical and there were much more gratifying reads that I was working through. However, Blake Crouch is a much-talked about writer, so I kept pushing through. I was determined to at least make it to the 50% point. I think some of the issue was the fact that there were a couple of people’s timelines to keep straight and that has never appealed to me in a book. I also have a gnat-sized attention span.

Thankfully at the halfway point Crouch finally has the groundwork all laid out and the good stuff begins. Once the action starts, it gets interesting quick. It goes from zero to sixty in an eye-blink and plays out like it’s meant for a movie screen. By the three-quarters mark I was wondering where else he could go. Things had gotten pretty much as insane as they could get. He proves his talent, though, and handles the last bit very skillfully by scaling things back and focusing more on emotion and relationships than absolute batshit craziness.

I truly enjoyed the last half of Recursion. However, it didn’t make up for the first half, so I can’t fangirl about the book.

Blake Crouch is a talented writer, but his style just doesn’t match up well with me. I recommend giving the book a try. Your mileage may vary, but it’s worth at least a look-see.


Recursion can be found via Goodreads However, in support of literacy programs we would like to mention this book may also be available after release date at BetterWorldBooks.

Published inScience Fiction Book ReviewsUnstarred Reviews

One Comment

  1. I’ve enjoyed some of his other books but the description doesn’t grab me for this one. Thanks for sharing your review.

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