Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
My Rating: 5 stars
“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.”
The book dug its hooks into me from the first chapter; it starts off with a bang– introducing some mind bending and scary stuff right off the bat. I don’t want to get too much into what this book is really about, because it is revelation after revelation that needs to be experienced with no preconceptions or spoilers. I will say that Blake Crouch is a master at messing around with memory and people’s perception of consciousness, and that he went above and beyond in Recursion.
“You stole that other life from me.”
“Was I married? Did I have kids?”
“Do you really want to know? It doesn’t matter now. It never happened.”
“You’re a monster.”
At one point while reading I thought to myself that I should have been keeping track of how many times this book make me think “what the f*ck”- I even said it out loud to myself a few times. I thought the limits had been pushed as far as they could, and then the author would push things even further. I guarantee you’ll have a hard time putting this book down. The book’s narrative timeline moved from past to present and changed years many times, but it was never too hard to keep track of. There were pages where I thought the science and changing perspectives would be too much; the author ended up doing a masterful job of keeping things clear and making the more complicated aspects into something easy enough for any reader to understand.
“I’ll be in that Portland bar in October of 1990, waiting for you.”
“You won’t even recognize me.”
“My soul knows your soul. In any time.”
This is a book about time and science, memory and perception, but in some ways it is also a love story. How far would you go to try and make things better for those you love? How far would you go to try and correct past wrongs? And then that brings you to the ethical side of things: is it wrong to mess around with events that have already happened, even if they could be changed for “better”? What repercussions would messing around with memory have? This book touches on all of this- and more.
As scary as some of the concepts in Recursion were, it was also very fun to read. It had characters that I became invested in and concepts that were very interesting to consider. The end was left open for interpretation, and I would love to have a short follow up to see how things played out, but it was also enjoyable to imagine how things ended up playing out in the end. The plot had all kinds of twists and turns, and I could never guess how things were going to play out. This is the second novel by Blake Crouch that I’ve read and ended up loving, and I’m definitely going to read more from him in the future.