Remy Sharp's Reviews > Recursion

Recursion by Blake Crouch
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** spoiler alert ** Decent sci-fi read, not terribly challenging, perhaps a bit overly grim towards the end, but entertaining all round.

After reading The Three Body Problem, I feel like sci-fi might be spoilt for me if it's not rooted deeply in hard science! Though Recursion does stem from a real world MIT experiment (amazingly) it's more akin to the romantic notion of sci-fi (if that's even a thing!).

The book splits pretty cleanly into three phases: 1. setup and drama, 2. sci-fi, time travel, action, 3. world ending disaster and reconciliation.

I felt like the first part was a little underwhelming, wondering where the story was going and what these two characters had to do with each other: Helena and Barry.

Thankfully this is cleanly answered in the second part where some interesting ideas are at play: specifically being able to travel back to a memory and "fork" reality off into a new timeline. Though it's only mentioned briefly, it feels like this a nod to four dimensions.

The last part when the characters decide they have to save the world - though apparently it's just down to one person not only being responsible for the end of the world but also be responsible for stopping it.

The book does its best to tell some fairly horrific tales of how the world would end - though this is very American-centric, but as the characters are based in the states, I'd imagine this is because it's their point of view. The descriptions of skin melting off and sores and blisters and radiation burning and all of that is fairly graphic. I can't decide if it made this part of the story more harrowing or if it just felt grotesque.

There's also large chunks of scenes where the protagonists are such incredible pain (the skin from a handprint peeling off and sticking to the walls) that I wondered how they were supposed to actually perform anything, instead of passing out from internal failure. But still, it's _just_ a story!

Overall, a decent read, not super challenging and explored some "fun" ideas with time travel and the concepts of what reality might be.
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Reading Progress

June 18, 2019 – Shelved
June 18, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 29, 2019 – Started Reading
November 17, 2019 – Finished Reading

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