So at this point I cannot give this one more than three stars. The main reason is that I disliked a good 50 percent of this book. I kept going with it hoping it would pay off, but it took too long to get there. I think dividing up the POVs is what made it confusing. I get why Crouch did it (to make the reveal cooler) but geez it took forever and I was so confused I went back to the beginning to make sure I was reading things correctly. Also there’s a twist that I don’t think was in the book but we find out about later. I also call BS on how things got resolved. I had flashbacks to Twilight and that whole love shield and I just do not think Crouch wanted to go that way. This book’s world building needed to be stronger.
“Recursion” deals with an America that is dealing with many people coming down with something called False Memory Syndrome. Every day men and women are waking up remembering another time and place that feels real to them. Many of them cannot handle it and end up committing suicide. Scientists don’t know what is causing is, but it seems that when one person who has the syndrome comes into contact with others, it spreads. New York Police Department officer Barry Sutton starts wondering about the woman he met who jumped after suffering from False Memory Syndrome. He is still reeling from the anniversary of his daughter’s death and wants something more out of his life. When he starts following the trail of the dead woman he comes across something shocking. We also follow neuroscientist Helena Smith. Helena wants to figure out a cure to her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease.
I have to say that it takes a long time to see where Crouch is heading for this. Thank the stars we just follow Barry and Helena. Anymore primary characters would have done my head in. The book jumps back and forth between them and you really have to pay attention to the dates/times otherwise you are going to get completely confused. I have to say that I don’t know about Barry and Helena at times. It took til the last half of the book that I warmed up to them both.
Barry we get is broken after his marriage falls apart after his daughter’s death. He seems to be barely functioning. When he is given an opportunity that I don’t think many people would turn down, he ends up still not embracing things that had changed for him.
Helena took a whole lot longer to understand. I don’t want to spoil, but think that Crouch lost some of the heart of the story when we mostly focused on Barry towards the end.
The secondary characters like Slade and others really have no rhyme or reason to them I have to say. I needed more there. You can’t set up what is going on in this story with a more focused adversary.
The writing was okay, but as other reviewers said, the science really didn’t make a lot of sense in this one. As I already said, that ending made zero sense to me and I think that Crouch wanted to just finish this up with the ending he already had in mind.
The flow was not good. There are four parts to this book and it takes until part of Part III to have anything start to make even a little bit of sense. I don’t think Crouch should have spoiled readers, but he needed to make us understand more of what is going on besides talking about mice and memories. None of what is in this book read as plausible to me. I realize I like more dystopian books that end up on the speculative fiction side of things since to me that reads as things that could happen. I don’t see how any of this could happen. After a while it read like the movie Endgame to me in book form and I just wanted to get to the ending already. There is a lot of repetition that may make readers want to skip ahead too.
The book jumps around a lot and I suggest that readers pay attention to the dates when people are speaking. I have to say that Crouch didn’t do a good job of technological upgrades/advances when speaking of certain years/decades. We also jump around to different cities, countries and everything read as the same after a while.
The ending hit a high note for me and honestly the last 100 pages of this book were so good. I just wish that the beginning of the book was much stronger.