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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

#ATBR2019 Recursion by Blake Crouch @crownpublishing @blakecrouch1 @jessmapreviews

by Blake Crouch

Thank you to Crown Publishing for these copies. Absolutely LOVE this author!

Publisher: Crown Publishing
Publish Date: June 11, 2019
336 Pages
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller

Memory makes reality. 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.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. 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? 

My Review:

I have been a fan of Blake Crouch since I stumbled upon his Serial Killers Uncut series ages ago.  Then stumbled upon the Wayward Pines trilogy well before the show came out and then my favorite trilogy - the Luther Kite trilogy (HIGHLY recommend for thriller fans, fyi).  Then he goes into a sci-fi direction with Dark Matter and again, his brilliance is showcased.  Now, his latest, Recursion, is also a complete mind boggler and in the best way possible.  I can't even tell you the times my mind blew while reading this.

When he starts off with the characters discussing the Mandela Effect and referencing the Berenstein/Berenstain phenomena, I had to put the book down and google the ever living crap out of this because I only remember it as BERENSTEIN.  Um, who the hell sat in the chair and which time line am I living in already?! BOOM. SHAKA. HOLY CRAP.

I've said it before and I'll say it again here - the human mind FASCINATES me.  And this book just floors me on multiple levels.  But it also touches on that time old classic of DO NOT F*** WITH THE PAST.  But what if your past could be completely changed? And you'll never run into the former you like Back to the Future makes us believe. Ha! When technology advances, it's seemingly always used for the intention of good but man oh man... those in supreme power typically have sociopathic tendencies and thus we almost always end up majorly screwed.

Should I talk about the characters? I love them. End of story.  I can't even begin to imagine what they had to go through.  The sci-fi mixed in with pure human emotion dealing with loss, love, family, high tech, and weirdly (for me) had a very slight Total Recall feel, but better. MUCH BETTER.

Listen, even those of you that may not be the biggest sci-fi fans, I still highly suggest that you read this and Dark Matter.  Now, of course it won't work for all of you, but if you're even contemplating coming into this genre, then Crouch is the way to go.  I don't know what kind of research he did, or where his brilliant mind goes to come up and create these highly multi-layered stories, but I am loving it... even if it does make me crap my pants just a tiny bit.


Jessica's Review:

I'm ashamed to say that this is my first time picking up a book by Blake Crouch. I know, I know! I've had DARK MATTER and a couple of his other books on my shelves for years now and I'm just kicking myself for not having listened to everyone sooner. RECURSION can only be described as mind-blowing. Holy shit, guys, I completely understand the hype around this book. It took me a while to try and put together my thoughts on this one so it made sense (and without spoiling anything).

What would you do if you woke up one morning and your entire life as you knew it was all a lie? The memories of loved ones, experiences, life events, and everything else that shapes you as a person were all false. Your entire perception on reality is warped and not knowing what you can trust if your memories are false? How could this be possible? This is the reality for those suffering from False Memory Syndrome. People living with dual memories of different lives. This concept is terrifying to me. Imagine not being able to trust everything you thought was true. The human mind is endlessly fascinating to me and there are so many things we still don't know and understand about memory. It's so vital to who we are as individuals - our experiences and upbringings shape us into who we are today and I couldn't imagine not being able to trust all of those memories.

Words can't describe how incredibly unique and well-crafted this story is from Crouch. I don't know how he came up with this idea but the execution of it was incredible. I know it sounds confusing and complicated, but he wove this story so effortlessly that it was surprisingly easy to follow. The things these characters go through and experience, you feel for them all. I don't know how I would be able to cope in some of these situations.

Bottom line, even if you're not the biggest fan of science fiction this is still worth picking up. You know it's a good book when you sit there and reflect on it after you've turned the last page. Now I need to finally take DARK MATTER off the shelves and start that one up!

5 stars

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