From the blurb
What if someone could rewrite your entire life?
‘My son has been erased.’
Those are the last words the woman tells Barry Sutton, before she leaps from the Manhattan rooftop. Deeply unnerved, Barry begins to investigate her death, only to learn that this wasn’t an isolated case. All across the country, people are waking up to lives different than the ones they fell asleep to. Are they suffering from False Memory Syndrome, a mysterious, new disease that afflicts people with vivid memories of a life they never lived? Or is something far more sinister behind the fracturing of reality all around him?
Miles away, neuroscientist Helena Smith is developing a technology that allows us to preserve our most intense memories, and relive them. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.
Barry’s search for the truth leads him on an impossible, astonishing journey, as he discovers that Helena’s work has yielded a terrifying gift – the ability not just to preserve memories, but to remake them . . . at the risk of destroying what it means to be human.
I hadn’t read any books by the author and I don’t usually read technothrillers or science fiction, so I didn’t know what to expect from this novel, but I like to read outside my comfort zone so I started listening.
Beginnings are vital, a good first paragraph, page, chapter will make a novel irresistible to the reader, and that’s what happened with Recursion. I knew from the first line I’d love it.
Detective Barry Sutton rushes up to a skyscraper to stop a woman from jumping off but before she does so, she tells him she has a strange disease called False Memory Syndrome (FMS) which means she has memories of different lives, but only one is real at present.
From this moment on, the novel is fast-paced, full of action and suspense as Barry decides to investigate the woman’s story and finds himself involved in a crazy conspiracy to control time and history.
The story may sound far-fetched, but Recursion is so convincingly written that it feels authentic.
The best parts of the novel are the two main characters, Barry and Helena and their timeless love story, which is breathtaking. I can’t help being an incurable romantic, and although this is not a romance at the beginning, it does soon turn into an epic romance across time and space.
I’m glad I read it and I’m going to read his other novels, too.
Since writing the post I also read Dark Matter, which is his first and most successful novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, too.
Dark Matter is another mind blowing science fiction technothriller about the choices we make, doppelgangers, alternate universes and what a person is prepared to do and give up to keep the life he chose and stay with his wife and son. I also listened to the audiobook which was also brilliantly narrated by Jon Lindstrom.
However, if I were to recommend one of the two, it would be Recursion. I found the plot more believably constructed, and the narrative more tightly spun. I also preferred the main characters because they were more engaging and complex.