Recursion

Recursion

by Blake Crouch

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Overview

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, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film.

“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?

Praise for
Recursion

“Blake Crouch has invented his own brand of page-turner—fearlessly genre-bending, consistently surprising, and determined to explode the boundaries of what a thriller can be.”—Karin Slaughter, #1 internationally bestselling author of Pieces of Her
 

“Brilliant. Crouch’s innovative novels never fail to grip!”—Sarah Pekkanen, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl
 
“A masterful mind-bender of a novel. Crouch brilliantly infuses his story with dire repercussions and unexpected moral upheaval, and leaves you wondering what you would do if you had the chance to turn back the clock.”—Mark Sullivan, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Private series and author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524759780
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 92
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Blake Crouch is a novelist and screenwriter. His novels include the New York Times bestseller Dark Matter and the internationally bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a teleivsion series for FOX. He also co-created the TNT show Good Behavior, based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He lives in Colorado.

Read an Excerpt

Barry

November 2, 2018

Barry Sutton pulls over into the fire lane at the main entrance of the Poe Building, an Art Deco tower glowing white in the illumination of its exterior sconces. He climbs out of his Crown Vic, rushes across the sidewalk, and pushes through the revolving door into the lobby.

The night watchman is standing by the bank of elevators, holding one open as Barry hurries toward him, his shoes echoing off the marble.

“What floor?” Barry asks as he steps into the elevator car.

“Forty-one. When you get up there, take a right and go all the way down the hall.”

“More cops will be here in a minute. Tell them I said to hang back until I give a signal.”

The elevator races upward, belying the age of the building around it, and Barry’s ears pop after a few seconds. When the doors finally part, he moves past a sign for a law firm. There’s a light on here and there, but the floor stands mostly dark. He runs along the carpet, passing silent offices, a conference room, a break room, a library. The hallway finally opens into a reception area that’s paired with the largest office.

In the dim light, the details are all in shades of gray. A sprawling mahogany desk buried under files and paperwork. A circular table covered in notepads and mugs of cold, bitter-smelling coffee. A wet bar stocked with expensive-looking bottles of scotch. A glowing aquarium that hums on the far side of the room and contains a small shark and several tropical fish.

As Barry approaches the French doors, he silences his phone and removes his shoes. Taking the handle, he eases the door open and slips out onto the terrace.

The surrounding skyscrapers of the Upper West Side look mystical in their luminous shrouds of fog. The noise of the city is loud and close—car horns ricocheting between the buildings and distant ambulances racing toward some other tragedy. The pinnacle of the Poe Building is less than fifty feet above—a crown of glass and steel and gothic masonry.

The woman sits fifteen feet away beside an eroding gargoyle, her back to Barry, her legs dangling over the edge.

He inches closer, the wet flagstones soaking through his socks. If he can get close enough without detection, he’ll drag her off the edge before she knows what—

“I smell your cologne,” she says without looking back.

He stops.

She looks back at him, says, “Another step and I’m gone.”

It’s difficult to tell in the ambient light, but she appears to be in the vicinity of forty. She wears a dark blazer and matching skirt, and she must have been sitting out here for a while, because her hair has been flattened by the mist.

“Who are you?” she asks.

“Barry Sutton. I’m a detective in the Central Robbery Division of NYPD.”

“They sent someone from the Robbery—?”

“I happened to be closest. What’s your name?”

“Ann Voss Peters.”

“May I call you Ann?”

“Sure.”

“Is there anyone I can call for you?”

She shakes her head.

“I’m going to step over here so you don’t have to keep straining your neck to look at me.”

Barry moves away from her at an angle that also brings him to the parapet, eight feet down from where she’s sitting. He glances once over the edge, his insides contracting.

“All right, let’s hear it,” she says.

“I’m sorry?”

“Aren’t you here to talk me off? Give it your best shot.”

He decided what he would say riding up in the elevator, recalling his suicide training. Now, squarely in the moment, he feels less confident. The only thing he’s sure of is that his feet are freezing.

“I know everything feels hopeless to you in this moment, but this is just a moment, and moments pass.”

Ann stares straight down the side of the building, four hundred feet to the street below, her palms flat against the stone that has been weathered by decades of acid rain. All she would have to do is push off. He suspects she’s walking herself through the motions, tiptoeing up to the thought of doing it. Amassing that final head of steam.

He notices she’s shivering.

“May I give you my jacket?” he asks.

“I’m pretty sure you don’t want to come any closer, Detective.”

“Why is that?”

“I have FMS.”

Barry resists the urge to run. Of course he’s heard of False Memory Syndrome, but he’s never known or met someone with the affliction. Never breathed the same air. He isn’t sure he should attempt to grab her now. Doesn’t even want to be this close. No, f*** that. If she moves to jump, he’ll try to save her, and if he contracts FMS in the process, so be it. That’s the risk you take becoming a cop.

“How long have you had it?” he asks.

“One morning, about a month ago, instead of my home in Middlebury, Vermont, I was suddenly in an apartment here in the city, with a stabbing pain in my head and a terrible nosebleed. At first, I had no idea where I was. Then I remembered . . . this life too. Here and now, I’m single, an investment banker, I live under my maiden name. But I have . . .”—she visibly braces herself against the emotion—“memories of my other life in Vermont. I was a mother to a nine-year-old boy named Sam. I ran a landscaping business with my husband, Joe Behrman. I was Ann Behrman. We were as happy as anyone has a right to be.”

“What does it feel like?” Barry asks, taking a clandestine step closer.

“What does what feel like?”

“Your false memories of this Vermont life.”

“I don’t just remember my wedding. I remember the fight over the design for the cake. I remember the smallest details of our home. Our son. Every moment of his birth. His laugh. The birthmark on his left cheek. His first day of school and how he didn’t want me to leave him. But when I try to picture Sam, he’s in black and white. There’s no color in his eyes. I tell myself they were blue. I only see black.

“All my memories from that life are in shades of gray, like film noir stills. They feel real, but they’re haunted, phantom memories.” She breaks down. “Everyone thinks FMS is just false memories of the big moments of your life, but what hurts so much more are the small ones. I don’t just remember my husband. I remember the smell of his breath in the morning when he rolled over and faced me in bed. How every time he got up before I did to brush his teeth, I knew he’d come back to bed and try to have sex. That’s the stuff that kills me. The tiniest, perfect details that make me know it happened.”

“What about this life?” Barry asks. “Isn’t it worth something to you?”

“Maybe some people get FMS and prefer their current memories to their false ones, but there’s nothing about this life I want. I’ve tried, for four long weeks. I can’t fake it anymore.” Tears carve trails through her eyeliner. “My son never existed. Do you get that? He’s just a beautiful misfire in my brain.”

Barry ventures another step toward her, but she catches him this time.

“Don’t come any closer.”

“You are not alone.”

“I am very f***ing alone.”

“I’ve only known you a few minutes, and I will be devastated if you do this. Think about the people in your life who love you. Think how they’ll feel.”

“I tracked Joe down,” Ann says.

“Who?”

“My husband. He was living in a mansion out on Long Island. He acted like he didn’t recognize me, but I know he did. He had a whole other life. He was married—I don’t know to who. I don’t know if he had kids. He acted like I was crazy.”

“I’m sorry, Ann.”

“This hurts too much.”

“Look, I’ve been where you are. I’ve wanted to end everything. And I’m standing here right now telling you I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I had the strength to ride it out. This low point isn’t the book of your life. It’s just a chapter.”

“What happened to you?”

“I lost my daughter. Life has broken my heart too.”

Ann looks at the incandescent skyline. “Do you have photos of her? Do you still talk with people about her?”

“Yes.”

“At least she once existed.”

There is simply nothing he can say to that.

Ann looks down through her legs again. She kicks off one of her pumps. 

Watches it fall.

Then sends the other one plummeting after it.

“Ann, please.”

“In my previous life, my false life, Joe’s first wife, Franny, jumped from this building, from this ledge actually, fifteen years ago. She had clinical depression. I know he blamed himself. Before I left his house on Long Island, I told Joe I was going to jump from the Poe Building tonight, just like Franny. It sounds silly and desperate, but I hoped he’d show up here tonight and save me. Like he failed to do for her. At first, I thought you might be him, but he never wore cologne.” She smiles—wistful—then adds, “I’m thirsty.”

Barry glances through the French doors and the dark office, sees two patrolmen standing at the ready by the reception desk. He looks back at Ann. “Then why don’t you climb down from there, and we’ll walk inside together and get you a glass of water.”

“Would you bring it to me out here?”

“I can’t leave you.”

Her hands are shaking now, and he registers a sudden resolve in her eyes.

She looks at Barry. “This isn’t your fault,” she says. “It was always going to end this way.”

“Ann, no—”

“My son has been erased.”

And with a casual grace, she eases herself off the edge.

Customer Reviews

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Recursion 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Windbigler 5 hours ago
Brilliant! A great book, as good or maybe better than, "Dark Matter."
carvanz 16 hours ago
What an absolute mind binder! This book took me on a journey from point A to point B in a way I never saw coming. I have never been so invested in a story before. Filled with characters that absolutely jumped from the pages as their dreams, desires, fears and failures consumed me. ”Life is nothing how he expected it would be when he was young and living under the delusion that things could be controlled. Nothing ca be controlled. Only endured.” I thought I knew what I was getting into when I began this book. Now that I’ve finished it, I wonder how the heck this author did this to me. I definitely feel as if I’ve been tossed out into the universe, reeled back in, only to be tossed out again, repeatedly. While my brain feels like mush and I’m sure I’ll have a book hangover, I already want to jump into this world again and again. This is a story that will captivate you from the first page to the last. I do not consider this a romance, although there is a wonderful romance that runs through a portion of this story, one that actually made my heart beat faster because of what these characters had to endure. It’s actually one of the most beautiful tales of love I’ve ever read when you break the story down. I urge you to go in blind with nothing but the blurb to guide you. If sci-fi, super science stories are your thing, you definitely need to look into this one. If sci-fi, super science, and a love that lasts through the ages is your thing, you need to one click immediately. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Crown Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
BooksnKisses 18 hours ago
REVIEW PROVIDED BY: Kelly NUMBER OF HEARTS: 4 What would you do if you had a memory but couldn’t tell if it was real or just a story someone told you? What lengths would you go to to learn the truth. Once you are there do you think you can handle the truth? Blake Crouch does an amazing job of writing a very disturbing story. Because I could easily see this happening to us in the future. The ending had me look for more pages in the book. I was left wondering what the heck (haha) in a good way!! If you are a Blake Crouch fan you will love this book. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
Anonymous 2 days ago
Recursion is an enjoyable surprise - a story with a remarkable hook that defies expectations or predictions. Crouch seamlessly investigates how our memories make us who we are - while taking the reader on a thrill ride of a detective story. I had a great time reading this book!
SevenAcreBooks 2 days ago
06/11/2019 Recursion by Blake Crouch This was fantastic! Absolutely amazing! More exclamation points please! If you enjoyed Dark Matter or the Wayward Pines trilogy, definitely pick this one up. By the way, since no one asked, the Wayward Pines books lead to me binging Twin Peaks last summer and that show was so incredibly odd and I never quite knew what was going on. Anyways. Recursion is the story of what happens when brilliance meets desperation. Searching for a way to help stop the dementia that is slowly stealing her mother, Helena creates a device that will change the history of medicine. What was meant to be a way to preserve a person’s precious memories turns into a potential weapon that could have devastating effects. Barry, depressed and steal grieving for his daughter a decade after her death, is investigating a woman’s suicide after he is unable to talk her down from the ledge. Plagued with FMS, False Memory Syndrome, the woman is devastated by the memories of a loving husband and son. But she was never married and has never been a mom so how does she know about this other life? Why does it feel so real? With more and more FMS cases coming to light, Barry gets swept up in a mystery so profound it’s capable of destroying the world. This is one of the fabulous sci-fi books that are better when you know nothing about it. I went into this not knowing the plot, only the author. The characters are great, the science went way over my head, and the story moved very quickly. There are so many twists and turns and explosive events that it just got better and better the further you read. Fast paced, gripping, and emotional, Recursion is an incredible story of strength and perseverance. Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions are my own.
357800 3 days ago
RECURSION DOES BOGGLE THE MIND........ A mysterious epidemic of suicides....odd painful memories....and madness! What's going on? NYPD Detective Barry Sutton is overcome with shock as he answers a call, hears an astounding story, and is now curious.....too curious. Helena Smith is a neuroscientist and a genius with a dream to help Alzheimer victims like her mother be able to recall memories, and when offered the opportunity to make her technological dream a reality with unlimited resources, she jumps at the chance. But all does not go according to plan. Promises are not kept and her creation enters a danger zone of evil doing. And for Helena....her deepest, darkest fear come true. I'm a big fan of Blake Crouch and time travel stories, but this wild crazy ride is like no time travel novel I've ever read. So much suspense in the changing timelines, continual grief, fear and pain....and a world that turns into a horror show....or does it? What's the worst that could happen? Read RECURSION and find out! ***Arc provided by Crown Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
Jill-Elizabeth_dot_com 3 days ago
I just LOVE Blake Crouch, he has the most amazing imagination and manages to find innovative ways to explore time, tech, and science in each book (at least the ones I've read)... The memory chair is a fantastic concept, reminiscent of Fringe or Counterpart but with an utterly original slant and marvelous characterization. The pacing is - as always - spot-on and the writing crisp and clear while still painting vivid pictures that draw the reader on completely. It's a fabulous thing, knowing that any title I pick up wll be an entertaining, thought provoking, wholly immersive read - there aren't many authors I can say that about with confidence, and the fact that he's prolific on top of that makes him one of my favorite contemporary authors. My review copy was provided by NetGalley.
bookluvr35SL 4 days ago
Neuroscientist Helena Smith is working on a project that she hopes will recover the memory of her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer. Barry Sutton is a New York detective who is investigating cases of False Memory Syndrome - a mysterious affliction that makes people go crazy from the false memories they are experiencing. This story is about how Barry and Helena's lives intersect over and over, as technology proves that in the right hands much good can be created, but in the wrong hands it can wreak chaos and destruction. This book was mind-blowing. It was scary realizing the possibilities and consequences of time travel in order to alter memories. I could not put this book down. It kept me riveted until the very last page. If you like fantasy/science fiction/suspense, then this is the perfect book for you!
chicpanda 4 days ago
What if instead of living with remembered life changing regrets you could go back in time and change them? What if you realized today's reality might be part of a false memory? What if there is no true present, only past memory? All these what ifs become plausible in Blake Crouch's breathtaking novel Recursion. In an online interview with Entertainment, Crouch said "Memory makes reality, so what happens if you start messing with memory? What does that do to the present moment?" His protagonist, Barry Sutton, finds himself swept away by this question. Is he a NYC grieving NYC policeman in 2018? Or is he the parent of a successful daughter who is a social worker? or is he married to a brilliant scientist? or ... This sounds confusing. It is not. Crouch's control of theme and plot are such that this reader never had an "oh c'mon!" moment. In October, Netflix announced that Sondra Rhimes and Matt Reeves will be adapting this work as a movie and a television series. Amazon lists Recursion as A Best Book of June 2019. Don't be left out. Read it now. Full disclosure: I received this e copy from netgalley and Random in exchange for an unbiased review.
CatAfterDark 4 days ago
Review Copy Ohhh, Blake Crouch, you pushed all my buttons. As I get older I find myself wishing I could go back and do life over. In my mind I've picked the time I'd like to go back to and restart. And here you go and write a novel that kept me glued to its pages until I finished. I read it cover to cover in one day until I finally, sadly, ran out of words. In a sense, RECURSION is a time travel story. Fans of David Gerrold's THE MAN WHO FOLDED HIMSELF and Robert Heinlein's future history and tales of Lazarus Long will fall into this easily. Like the epic TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, RECURSION is a love story. It's about love of family and and finding your soul mate. The writing is strong and never boring. It's hopeful and yearning. If ever there was a book I wanted to dive into, this would be at the top of my list.
laur3296 4 days ago
Wow! I read this several days ago and am still thinking about it. I read so many books that they often blend together. So when I'm still thinking about a book, that's a big deal to me. This book is about memory, and how we store it. Wait, it's about time travel. No it's not, it's about the mapping and manipulation of memory.. You know what....you just need to read it. It's crazy. It's thought provoking. .. It's a well written journey that you should try.
MamaHendo 5 days ago
In 2018, Helena Smith's mother is living with Alzheimer's. She is increasingly losing her memories and Helena is working non-stop to find a way to stop this from happening. A brilliant neuroscientist on the verge of an incredible breakthrough, Helena is quickly running out of time and money. Her invention, a memory chair with the ability to map a person's memory and return them to someone like Helena's mother is still years away from trials. When Helena is approached by an investor who is willing to give her unlimited funding to create her chair she is desperate to say yes but at what cost will this be to her in the long run? Barry, living in 2007, is a New York City policeman heading towards a call to help talk down woman on top of a building. She is convinced she is suffering from False Memory Syndrome. This "illness" has started to pop up all over the city but no one knows what is causing it, whether or not it's contagious or how to treat those inflicted. Though it's not exactly his job to investigate the FMS outbreak, Barry follows a lead not knowing that he will be altering everything he knows to be true as well as those he loves most. Blake Crouch has written an absolutely genius, twisting and complex story involving multiple timelines, memory and a race to undo the end of time. For fans of "Dark Matter" this new work by Crouch is not one to miss. Do yourself a favor and pick up both of these today.
bamcooks 7 days ago
GoodReads interview with Blake Crouch: https://www.goodreads.com/interviews/... 'Memory is more fundamental than time. Memory is the actual thing that gives us the illusion of time.' What if you could go back in time using a memory as a portal and change things that happened? Helena Smith is a Stanford neuroscientist who is working on an invention she'd call an 'Immersive Platform for Projection of Long-Term, Explicit, Episodic Memories' if she succeeded. In layman's terms, she's hoping to build a 'memory chair' to help people with Alzheimer's disease like her mother retain their memories. She is quickly running out of grant money when she is offered a life-line to continue her experiments with no-limit funding by wealthy Marcus Slade. (Cue the dramatic music as the evil guy enters the stage.) Hint: his goals might not be what Helena has in mind. Meanwhile in NYC, Detective Barry Sutton tries to stop a woman from jumping to her death from the 41st floor of a skyscraper. She explains to him that she has False Memory Syndrome: memories of another (and much better) life where she has a husband and son. And because she can't have that wonderful life, she'd just as soon end it all. Afterwards, Barry starts to investigate using some of the details she gave him. He's finding some truth to her story. Other reports of FMS are coming in from around the country. What is going on? Is it contagious? Barry's daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver when she was 13. What if he could go back in time and prevent that from happening? What are consequences when you diddle around with time and memories? These kinds of stories just fascinate me. The plot is complicated but hang in there--it's worth it. Strong characterizations drive this story. Crouch leads them to the apocalypse--can they figure out how to stop it? I received an arc of this inventive thriller from the publisher via NetGalley. Many thanks for an enthralling read.
lee2staes 7 days ago
Recursion is well written thriller with elements of science fiction. I am typically not a science fiction fan, but this book somewhat changed my perspective of how the world works and how we perceive the past, present and future. This one kept me on the edge of my seat and held my interest throughout. My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous 8 days ago
4.5 stars rounded up to 5! Ever heard of the Mandela Effect? In Recursion, people all across the U.S. are waking up to completely different lives than they remember. Are they suffering from False Memory Syndrome? Or is something much scarier and widespread happening to the world’s shared reality? Crouch is a master at pacing and creating suspense. I enjoyed the exploration of the nature of reality, how your brain perceives your environment, and the effects of dementia. And it got dark and gruesome at times, which was deliciously scary to read. I loved Crouch’s previous novel Dark Matter, so I went into Recursion with high expectations. Recursion is addictive and suspenseful, but it definitely calls for a little patience--and probably multiple readings--to fully work out its puzzle. However, the payoff is definitely worth it.
Kristy_K 9 days ago
3.5 Stars A sci-fi thriller with tons of twists. This book is dense; there is so much going on that at times I felt a little overwhelmed. But it was definitely worth it. We follow our two main characters, Billy, a NYPD detective, and Helena, a scientist intimately involved with the False Memory Syndrome. Knowing much more than that would spoil the wild ride that is Recursion. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Kaceeey 9 days ago
Helena is a gifted neuroscientist trying to develop a way to preserve memories. It’s personal for her. Her mother has Alzheimer’s. Helen is quickly running out of both time and funding. But at what price is she willing to move ahead? Barry is a New York City policeman. He’s called to help talk down a woman threatening to jump from a building as she suffers from False Memory Syndrome. So little is known about this condition. Is it contagious? Is he willing to put his own life at risk to save her? I loved the first half of this book. I was all in and able to follow along easily! Couldn’t wait to see where Blake Crouch's imagination and talent would take me! But about midway the complexity of the timelines and false memories got the best of me and I could barely keep up. By the end my mind was spinning and I was hopelessly lost. My brain actually hurt! There are some fantastic reviews for this book from readers who were able to keep up with this brain bending science fiction thriller. So please don’t let this review sway you! I am definitely in the minority here. A mind twisting buddy read with Susanne Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and Blake Crouch for an ARC to read and review.
ROBUSN 9 days ago
First, thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the Advance Readers Copy of RECURSION. This is Blake Crouch's follow-up to DARK MATTER, one of my favorites in the past 5 years. I didn't think it was possible, but this story was as good or better. Barry Sutton is a policeman investigating an unusual suicide by someone with False Memory Syndrome, and Helena Smith a neuroscientist who finds funding for her dream project, a chair that allows her to record and play back memories. From that beginning, Crouch weaves an intricate and complex story involving memories, alternate timelines, and true love. Another home run from one of my new favorite authors.
Beach 9 days ago
I loved this. Looooved it. If you need a story that sucks you in and makes you forget about the world, this is the book you should pick up. Don't let the slow-building start fool you, this story is big and bold and explosive. Stories that play around with the concept of time can be tricky, but Crouch handles it deftly and goes to interesting places with it while keeping his characters realistic. Stop reading reviews and just go get the book. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a free ebook copy for my review.
Anonymous 9 days ago
I still can’t figure out what happened? I’m not a sci-fi fan. I checked and then double checked my library and I’m the proud owner of none sci-fi books in my collection…till now, of course. Recursion by Blake Crouch, published on June 7th, is taking the publishing world by a storm, rightfully so, may I gallantly add. I’m not sure what drew me first to the book, the bright yellow book cover, screaming for my attention or the bald synopsis. Perhaps a combination of both. NYC cop, Barry Sutton, is on the case, investigating what the media calls a phenomenon False Memory Syndrome which infiltrates its victims with memories not their own. Scary? Realistic? But possible? I’m hooked line and sinker. The book gave me a pause, and I reflected on my bank of memories, which one was more precious than the other which one if given the opportunity would I go back and relive. I couldn’t narrow it down because they are many I wish to experience again. The power of memory is a force not to be tempered with, a notion, Helena Smith, a neuroscientist who’s devoted her life to inventing technology that will let us relive our memories, understands. Barry and Helena are working together to stand up against a mighty adversary who wishes to undo reality. The book written from a POV of both Barry and Helena was a smart approach by Crouch. It allowed me to see through both of their eyes. At the end, Recursion, is too good to pass up. It’s eccentric, innovative, and yes plenty of sci-fi elements which I didn’t mind but embraced! Thank you NetGalley and Crown Publishing for the galley copy to get an honest review.
Karen_Benson 9 days ago
Blake Crouch did it again! He actually topped Dark Matter and left my head spinning, and my mind blown! The book starts out with Detective Barry Sutton being called out to a jumper and while trying to talk her off the ledge, is intrigued by the fact that she is experiencing what’s being called False Memories. She remembers an entire other life with a husband and son and would prefer not to live without them. (I was hooked at False Memories!) The book then flashes back to 2007 to a neurologist, Helen, who has been working on a memory project. The book goes back and forth between the two timelines, and the first big twisty mind blower hits about 1/3rd of the way through. But does Crouch stop there? Nope. He just keeps zinging all the crazy mind bending cray cray at the reader page after page after page! I seriously read this all day long from beginning to end only putting this down for sustenance or potty breaks! Thank goodness I started on a Saturday morning and had no other plans for the day. I need to go grab Crouch’s backlist because I need more to keep me going until he comes up with his next book. This guy is brilliant!! *Thank you so much to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for the advance copy!*
S_White_1218 9 days ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. Blake Crouch is a wonder. Seriously, the man has good ideas - great concepts... AND, he knows how to execute them. I loved Wayward Pines and Dark Matter, and Recursion follows in a similar vein. Can you imagine a world in which the construct of time - that keeps us sane, and our lives and minds in order - has been circumvented? Well, Blake did, and he wrote about it and knocked it out of the park. This thrill ride of a novel starts a little slow and then rockets to the ending. It's kind of like Aerosmith's Rock 'N' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World. The first bit, you're loading into the ride vehicle, pulling around to the waiting area, and sitting there for a few minutes waiting for the ride to start. A countdown happens, and BAM, you shoot off at 60 miles an hour, race through the darkened coaster ride, until the ride comes to a skidding halt. You get off, stumble around for a minute as you catch your breath and your balance, and then proceed to jump back in line to ride it again. That's this book. So much fun!
The_Brown_Bookloft 9 days ago
Summary: Helena Smith, a neuroscience researcher, feels disheartened. Her project is about to run out of money and she’s nowhere near a solution. Driven by her desire to help her mother who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, Helena is trying to discover a way to preserve and restore memories. She’s on the verge of giving up when a mysterious man offers to fund her project beyond her wildest dreams. Barry Sutton, an NYPD detective tries to talk a despondent woman, Ann Voss Peters, down off the ledge of a high-rise. After a brief conversation with her, he realizes she is a victim of false memory syndrome. In her mind, Ann lives two lives. In one set of memories–her real memories–she lives single life in New York. In another, she remembers a husband and young son. Her second set of memories are in black and white, yet the emotions associated with them are completely real. After listening to her story, he tries to talk her out of suicide, but fails. In alternating chapters, Helena and Barry narrate their stories, unaware that they are destined to meet and change the world–over and over. Comments: Recursion is a genre jumping look into the repercussions of fear and power. In a book that blurs the lines between science fiction, apocalyptic fiction and thrillers, it has potential to appeal to a broad audience. There is even a G rated love story tossed in for good measure. I can envision this book translating well to film. Highly recommended for readers of sci-fi, speculative fiction, apocalyptic fiction, thrillers and anyone who likes general fiction with a twist.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Blake Crouch delivers again with a mind-bending sci-fi thriller! Recursion was such an interesting read that made you really think about how every action has a ripple effect, and could the advancement of technology ultimately lead to the down fall of humanity. High action with a love story woven in, you won't be able to put this book down! Thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for this ARC!
trutexan 9 days ago
I say that I am not a fan of science fiction, but Blake Crouch has made me wrong about that for the second time. It was only because I liked Dark Matter so much that I was interested in reading another novel by Crouch. One thing that caught my attention about the book is that one of the main characters works on trying to find a way to help Alzheimers patients retain their memories. Alzheimers is a disease that hits close to home for many (my family included) so naturally it captured my interest. Helena, a neuroscientist whose mother suffers from Alzheimer’s, has an opportunity to develop her device with unlimited funds. Once she proves that it’s a success, things go horribly awry because not everyone involved in the program is ethical. Helena teams up with Barry, a NYC police officer, and they work together to stop people from using the device in ways it was not intended. This results in a nightmarish version of ground hog day or de ja vu moments, only on a more accelerated level. Recursion is fast-paced and full of action. Don’t pass this one up because it’s science fiction. It’s also an engrossing thriller from start to finish. Many thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.