• James Hewlett


Last week I was complaining about not knowing what book to read next and by the time I put the blog post out I’d decided on what I was going with.

I’ve been reading Recursion by Blake Crouch and am about a third of the way through it so far.

I’m hooked. I was hooked after the prologue chapter in fact, that reads a lot like a cold open to a movie.

I can’t remember what made me pick up Crouch’s last novel, Dark Matter, but I tore through that pretty quick and remember really enjoying its unique take on a time travel story. When I saw he had a new book out it was almost a blind but for me.

I thought it a bit at the time with the previous book but now that I have a third more of a sample size to go with I feel confident in my comparison of Blake Crouch to the late Michael Crichton of Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, Congo, etc. fame.

Both authors have a similar style of writing very science based sci-fi thrillers. That is to say that their stories are earth bound, not too distance futuristic and using real life modern day scientific studies and breakthroughs to extrapolate into fantastical stories.

For some people that sort of story is very disposable and I could easily see Crouch being branded with the same ‘airport novel’ label that Crichton critics often used for his books.

I can’t dispute that fact, they are fun, somewhat pulpy adventure stories. But for me, that is not a negative. I eat that shit up.

I am happy to give over my imagination to the author and buy into the seemingly whacky science presented in each novel.

There is enough for me to keep me thinking. Not just about the plot and mysteries but about the implications and ‘what if’ scenario of the events of the book to keep it highly engrossing for me.

As I said I’m only about a third through at the moment so even if I wanted to I wouldn’t be able to go too deep into the plot. So far though chapters have bounced between two seeming protagonists and slightly different times. The first is cop Barry Sutton who, after failing to prevent a suicide begins looking deeper into the widening spread of FMS, False Memory Syndrome.

The other point of view character is Helena Smith, a neuroscientist who, about a decade earlier, is developing a technology to help Alzheimer’s sufferers regain some of their lost memories. She begins working for an Elon Musk type tech mogul who is offering her all the funding and facilities she needs to further her research, but at what cost?

I can only assume that these two timelines and characters will inevitably intersect and I’m at a point in the novel, the end of the first act, where it feels like the doors of the story have just been blown wide open and I’m excited to see where it leads.

I love that feeling when you start a new book and hit the point where you’re sucked in. I especially like it when that happens without much or any prior knowledge of the story at all.

Blake Crouch will be an author I’ll be willing to check out no matter what he does next as he’s earned trust for telling stories I enjoy. The two books of his I’ve read, or am reading, so far have a very cinematic feel to them and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the movie rights aren’t already with one studio or another. Remember this in a few years when one of them is a big summer blockbuster like The Martian or Ready Player One.

#books #reading #fiction #scifi #science #memory #fiction #storytelling

©2017 by James Hewlett.