Author: Blake Crouch
Length: 11 hours
Narrator: Jon Lindstrom, Abby Craden
Publisher: Random House Audio
Original Publication Date: 2019
Genre(s): Science fiction, Thriller
“Time is an illusion. A construct made out of human memory. There’s no such thing as the past, the present, or the future. It’s all happening now.”
In 2018, a New York cop named Barry fails to stop the suicide of a woman claiming to have FMS (False Memory Syndrome). The disease causes people to experience memories of a life they never lived, even though it feels more real than their current life. No one knows how it’s contracted or spread, but when Barry experiences his first false memory, he’s determined to get to the bottom of it.
In 2007, Helena is a neuroscience studying memory. She dreams of creating a device that will preserve memory for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, like her mother. So when a rich man offers to fund her project, how can she say no? But then they succeed. And not only do they succeed, but they wind up creating something far more advanced, and far more dangerous, than Helena ever intended.
Recursion is made up of five books, consisting of chapters that alternate not only between Barry and Helena, but also back and forth through time. It’s…a bit of a hard story to follow at first. You definitely want to pay attention to the dates each chapter is named. And remember: time isn’t linear, and neither is this story. I won’t go into the logistics other than that, because it’ll ruin the novel. It’s best to go into this one with the most basic synopsis. Doing so makes the beginning a little slow moving, but Crouch is such an amazing writer that you’ll soon be engrossed and invested in the story. I know I was!
Seriously, Crouch is the master of both suspense and thrills. Wow. The last third of this novel was so intense and equally terrifying. I mean, both Barry and Helena are very likable characters from the start. But by the end of this novel you’re sympathizing with them so hard, and you’re so worried about them the whole time. Both Barry and Helena experience things I’d never want to do. This book definitely had my heart pounding.
And the ending. I had NO IDEA how this book was going to end. I couldn’t have guessed. And the way it ends… Like the last sentence was so infuriating! I literally said “WHAT!” out loud. I wanted more. It was such a good novel and I’m so glad I stuck with it. I didn’t think it could compare to Dark Matter, but it definitely gave it a run for its money.
If you’ve never read Blake Crouch, READ HIS BOOKS. And if you’ve read Dark Matter, READ RECURSION!! I promise you’ll enjoy it.