From the publisher: Memory makes reality. That’s what NYC cop Barry Sutton is learning, as he investigates 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. An intricate science-fiction puzzlebox about time, identity, and memory.
Blake Crouch’s Recursion is not a perfect book but it is a highly enjoyable one. It’s a classic time travel story with a twist – if someone goes back in time and changes the timeline, everyone affected by the change remembers their old timeline as well as their new timeline. This causes confusion, paranoia, and an increased suicide rate. The inventor of the technology that allows this to happen is trying to erase it from time, while others want to use it for good to change the past … but unexpected consequences are not predictable.
Recursion has a compelling narrative, and I found it hard to put down. I couldn’t quite follow all the timey-wimey stuff and have no idea whether the science is somewhat real or utterly ridiculous, but the characters are sympathetic enough that I did not worry too much about the timelines. I found the overall resolution predictable but not the steps the author took to get there. (I am confused by the very end – someone read it and tell me what it means!)
Recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary thrillers with a futuristic touch.
Recursion comes out on June 11 and has already been purchased by Netflix for a TV series. It will be available in print and as an ebook at the Galesburg Public Library.