Recursion Author: Blake Crouch Publisher: Crown, June 11, 2019 Format: Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages List Price: US$27.00 (print); US$13.99 (eBook) ISBN: 9781524759780 (print); 9781524759803 (eBook)
From the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date.
“An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian
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?
Recursion was difficult for me to read at first as Blake Crouch alternates POVs and periods of time. I felt disoriented. We are programed to think linearly - yesterday, today, tomorrow. Recursion turns that on its head and inside out. What if you could change your memories and have a do over? Prevent an accident from killing a loved one? Go back in time and prevent an atrocity? Would it be the ethical thing to do? How would altering your memories affect the reality of those around you? Crouch asks these questions and more.
Neuroscientist Helena Smith is driven to find a way to help preserve memories because her mother is losing hers to Alzheimer's. She is given unfettered access to everything she needs to create a machine that will do just that by Marcus Slade. He is incredibly wealthy and known for philanthropy and being the founder of many cutting edge technology companies. With Slade's resources Helena's work speeds ahead and she is hopeful she will be able to help her mother and others like her.
Barry Sutton is a NYPD detective whose life has fallen apart since his daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver when she was a teen. He begins to investigate False Memory Syndrome (FMS) after trying to prevent the suicide of a woman suffering from it. FMS is occurs when someone has memories of 2 different lives one more vivid than the other. Trying to reconcile these differing lives is causing people to kill themselves. Barry's investigation into the woman's suicide and FMS puts him on a very dangerous path.
Recursion is a stellar thriller which explores memory, identity, and reality. Crouch takes a bit of hard science and pushes it well beyond its limits to create an intense speculative novel. Recursion is deeply emotional, dark, frightening, and at the same time hopeful. With great pacing, engaging characters, and non-stop twists this is Crouch at his mind-bending best.