CBR11 Bingo – Science, because this is a science-centered science fiction novel.
I should stay on top of these books. By the time I sit down to review them, they’ve already started to fade from my mind.
I drove to New York last summer, and used Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter to fill most of the trip. I enjoyed the book enough to pick up his Wayward Pines series (which I didn’t enjoy quite as much). Seeing that he had a new book out, I jumped at the chance to read it.
Helena Smith is a neuroscientist working on a memory chair that would allow people suffering from neuro-degenerative diseases to relive their memories. She is approached by a man familiar with her research, but with plans entirely different from hers. Meanwhile, Barry Sutton is a New York detective researching something the media has termed False Memory Syndrome.
I think I like Crouch. He deals in some pretty cerebral concepts like time, alternate realities, and memory, but the books never feel out of reach. And he doesn’t shy away from the darkness of the world. One of my problems with the Wayward Pines series, in fact, was that it was a bit too dark. These books aren’t jaunty explorations of future tech – they can be somewhat bleak and foreboding. Though his books have left me unsettled, I don’t think he dwells too much in the abyss. I think, ultimately, his worldview is affirmational.
Without getting too deeply into the plot, this book is (as the title states) all about recursion. The characters get stuck in a kind of never ending, self-perpetuating, feedback loop. And, I think, the final message is that the impossibility of a situation can be at least somewhat manageable if you’re with the person you love.
If you’ve read Crouch’s work before, this is much more like Dark Matter than Wayward Pines.