Imagine being able to change your past but remember everything from a past you never actually lived.
Blake Crouch, the author of Recursion loves fucking around with time. I hate stories – books, movies and television alike – that bounce around in time. Dark Matter also by Black Crouch I found to be too scientific for me which made it hard for me to really enjoy. That is not the case with RECURSION.
Society as a whole likes to imagine what our lives would be like if we had the ability to go back into time. To make different discussions. To go down a different path than the one we currently chose. Me personally, I am well aware that if my past were any different than I would not be where I am today; I would not be the person I am today. RECURSION shows us what exactly would happen if we could do such a thing. If the technology existed to actually go back in time.
Crouch does not just do this one with character; there are so many characters who’s timelines you see get altered. Sometimes their stories are told in parallel to one another. Sometimes they’re reflected in past and present timelines. There are a good amount of characters to keep track of. There are some characters that are brought up at the beginning of the book, never to be heard from again until the end. There are some characters that are key in certain periods of time. Then there are some that you see once or twice and never hear from again.
The reader mainly follows the story of Barry Sutton a NYC cop who begins learning and investigating the strange phenomenon of False Memory Syndrome. False Memory Syndrome is causing people to lose grip on reality and ultimately to kill themselves. A second major character is Helena Smith, who is a neuroscientist who is trying to come up with something to help her mother who is battling Alzheimer’s. If Helena succeeds in her experiments, anyone will be able to re-live any moment in time they want – a kiss, a birth, a meeting.
As Barry investigates and Helena experiments their lives intertwine. We watch as the world unravels itself. How messing with our past, destroys our present. Over and over again.
I am not someone who generally enjoys Science Fiction but I could not put this one down.