Recursion by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Book of the Month offered Recursion as an option I jumped at the chance to read this book. Blake Crouch also wrote Dark Matter which is a mind-bending thriller involving parallel universes and makes you question a lot of what you believe to be true about the world.
Recursion is no different.
In this novel we follow the lives of a scientist, Helena; and a detective, Barry. Helena is trying to create a way to map our memories so that she can attempt to help her mother who has Alzheimer's. Barry is a Detective who has lost his daughter at a young age and one night happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. One could argue it was the right place at the right time…but as with everything in this book, it's all about perception.
The country is starting to be plagued by something called False Memory Syndrome. People are suddenly remembering entire other lives in vivid detail. Lives they aren't currently living but are now confusingly thinking that they have lived. Barry's first encounter with this is through a suicidal woman suffering from FMS, who he gets called to assist.
While Barry attempts to investigate the things this woman told him about her life, he gets sucked into False Memory Syndrome as well. While you're reading about that…you're also reading about Helene and her development of her memory mapping software. She's wisked away by a billionaire who promises her all the resources she could possibly need.
What they end up creating will change the world in catastrophic ways. They find a way to implant you into a past memory so that you can change your life. The only trouble is that for most, when you reach the point in time that you left…all memories come flooding back.
The rest of the novel is a lot of going back and forth in time. It's Helene an Barry trying to save the world from the one thing that should have saved it.
The question as to whether or not we should mess with the past is explored and the ramifications of such a thing are laid bare.
This novel is another great one from this author. It has all the twists and turns you want in a thriller and the added bonus of a new version of time travel was something I really enjoyed.
It leaves you with the question of, if you had to risk the entire world…would you go back and change something?
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