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books and reading

Recursion

Title: Recursion

Author: Blake Crouch

Genre: technothriller, science fiction

PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt: a book about forgetting

Blake Crouch is one of my favorite authors. I make a point to read all his work. Abandon, Dark Matter, Wayward Pines, the Andrew Thomas series, Perfect Little Town, Snowbound, Summer Frost, and Famous have all been great, fun reads. There’s usually some sort of mystery and some science fiction. This book is heavier on the science fiction than others, but still just as fun.

From Goodreads: Memory makes reality. That’s what NYC 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.

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. But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

At once a relentless page-turner and an intricate science-fiction puzzle-box about time, identity, and memory, Recursion is a thriller as only Blake Crouch could imagine it—and his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date.

I really did have to pay attention when reading this because the timelines not only jump around between Barry and Helena, but also between years and events. This book isn’t so complicated that I was lost or confused, but I’m a fast skim reader, which didn’t work on this book. No complaints about that here, though, because this book was great. I was engaged from the beginning, kept guessing, and wholly satisfied by the end. I’m going to keep Crouch’s books on the top of my “to read” list.

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books and reading

Abandon

There are some authors who never seem to disappoint. I have read a good chunk of their stuff, and it always seems like they are quality authors with something interesting to say. So far, Blake Crouch is one of those authors. I have read The Wayward Pines trilogy and Dark Matter, so when Abandon came across my Kindle, I was really excited to delve in.

Unlike Crouch’s other works, there is no heavy science aspect to this one. And although I find the science stuff interesting, this book doesn’t seem to be lacking anything without it. Basically, everyone in the town of Abandon (clever!) disappears Christmas Day one year in the late 1800s. The story unfolds from the modern era, juxtaposed with the varying points of view from the past. A girl, her father, two paranormal experts, and a couple guides travel through the mountains of Colorado to find the abandoned town. There, they try to solve the mystery of what happened to the townspeople, who seemingly vanished without a trace.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the two perspectives. Layer after layer, you get answers about the past from the townspeople themselves. And simultaneously, the people of the modern day reveal a few secrets of their own. The book’s resolution is satisfying, with no sequels needed. I get tired of cliffhanger books and series after awhile. So far, Crouch is batting 100% in my book, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

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books and reading

Dark Matter

When I saw this book was available on Netgalley, I immediately requested it, simply based on the author. I read the Wayward Pines series last year and loved it. I don’t know much about the author, but based on the trilogy, I knew I wanted to read more. He does a great job of balancing suspense and science and wow, can he write an ending.

This book grabbed me from chapter one. There’s no slow burn in this book. From the beginning, you are sucked in. And there is absolutely no way to predict where the book is going, which is refreshing. The author has clearly done his research in physics and does an outstanding job relating this information in an understandable way. I expected there to be some difficult parts given how insane (in a good way) the premise is, and there were a few where I had to slow down and reread a bit, but nothing that I wasn’t able to handle.

And just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the rug was yanked out from under me. I was pleasantly surprised by how many plausible twists and turns the book provided. I never felt like what was happening wasn’t possible, even though it really isn’t….probably. I’m no physicist, so there’s always a chance. In any case, I highly recommend this book, especially if you liked the Wayward Pines trilogy. This seems to be a stand alone book, but I could be wrong. I will be adding Blake Crouch to my list of “must read” authors.