Oh, oh, this is a hard one to write. Crouch is one of my favorite sci-fi authors and I fully enjoyed flying through this book. Recursion is another total mind fuck and while I loved it, it also got lost in it’s convolution and created way too many inconsistencies and discordant notes for my poor little brain to handle.
That said, I love the ideas and themes and still fully recommend this one to anyone that enjoys sci-fi thrillers. I’m pretty sure it’s at least partially a me-not-you issue. Let’s take a look at the book then I’ll pick it apart a little more!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Recursion
- Series: N/A
- Author: Blake Crouch
- Publisher & Release: Ballantine Books, 2019
- Length: 339 pages
- Rate & Recommend:⭐⭐⭐ ✨ yes for sci-fi & thriller fans. This isn’t actually a bad review!
Here’s the synopsis via Am*zon:
From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film.
Reality is broken.
At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.
In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth—and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . .and the tools for fighting back.
Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy—before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos
So yeah, this was actually a really cool book and it tackled all the bigtime sci-fi dilemmas about humanity, memory, power, life and love, and the meaning of everything. He even quoted Vonnegut in the epilogue and then gave us a typical Crouch ending, which I loved because it boiled the entire book down to inevitability 😅
Similar to Dark Matter, this is a huge mindbender that I don’t think the reader is supposed to think too hard about. Just read the thriller and let it race over you, right? I am all for that method except there were so many layers that my brain kept saying “wait I’m pretty sure this event isn’t possible, or XYZ would have happened earlier…” Or “wait wait wait, he already disproved that…” I COULD BE TOTALLY WRONG SO DON’T LISTEN TO ME, JUST GO READ THE BOOK 😅
I do always feel pretty disgruntled after finishing a Crouch though so … I’m probably wrong.
If nothing else, it was easy to root for the characters. I liked how they discussed the ideas and drilled home the points Crouch was trying to make about second chances and inevitability. How terribly things can go when power is placed in the wrong hands, but then things can also get equally fucked when handled with the best of intentions. Helena started out with the absolute best of intentions, trying to help her mom, and look where they all ended up…
He summarized the book (and honestly his entire bibliography) with this one rough quote from the main character: We are fucking with shit that’s not supposed to be fucked with!
Overall: if you like thrillers, sci-fi, big ideas, and books that will make your pulse race while also taking your brain for a ride, I fully recommend anything by Blake Crouch.
Thanks for checking out my book review of Recursion by Blake Crouch! I bought this one on my own when it was published and as always, all opinions are my own ♥️