Recursion by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Recursion has become the first sci-fi standalone to be included in my favorite shelves.

As many readers probably did, my first experience with reading Crouch’s work was for Dark Matter. I was super impressed by it and after hearing that the author has a new sci-fi thriller that’s highly recommended for readers who loved Dark Matter gave me so much joy; it would be insane for me to not take a look at Recursion. Do note that taking a look at Crouch’s novel can be surmised as reading the novel non-stop until completion. This book was undoubtedly exceptional; it was so good that it made Dark Matter—which I loved and rated 4.5/5 stars—felt like a practice novel so that Crouch has the skill to unleash the full capacity of his brain towards the creation of this cleverly crafted insanity.

Two central characters drive the plot. The first main character is Barry Sutton, a cop that’s investigating the mysterious phenomenon dubbed as False Memory Syndrome (FMS)—a phenomenon that drives its victims insane with false memories of a life they never lived. The other main character, Helena Smith, is a neuroscientist that understands the importance of memory; she decides to dedicate her life to create a technology that could preserve any moment of the recipient’s memories. This is pretty much all I can say regarding the general premise. Reviewing Crouch’s book is not an easy task; there’s a huge limitation on how much of the plot I can talk about unless I risk spoiling something and I don’t want that. To avoid spoilers, I will say this: Recursion is a sci-fi thriller about memories and how precious they are in defining humanity and their sense of identity. Imbued inside this resonating theme was an addictive story about love, loss, ambition, redemption, and life.

“Life is nothing how he expected it would be when he was young and living under the delusion that things could be controlled. Nothing can be controlled. Only endured.”

When I started this book, I knew I would be thoroughly engaged by it and Crouch exceeded my high expectations brilliantly. Crouch outstandingly proved that he’s super capable of writing a fast-paced story that doesn’t neglect crucial characterizations. Dark Matter was thought-provoking and this book held similar philosophical discussions about life and choices but honestly speaking, Recursion resonated more with me because I believe that Crouch has improved as an author; his prose was extremely well-polished and the characters were more fleshed out. I truly didn’t expect this novel to be this evocative and large-scale. There were moments where I felt genuinely sad, terrified, and heart-warmed by what the characters went through. The poignant thought-provoking passages made me reflect on life; the gradual increase in stakes and scope that eventually became more destructive and global as the story progressed fully stole my attention cover to cover. I’ve been having difficulties in my life, it’s almost as if this book appeared at the right timing to brighten my mood by teaching me how to think better moving forward; I’m truly grateful for it.

“Life with a cheat code isn’t life. Our existence isn’t something to be engineered or optimized for the avoidance of pain. That’s what it is to be human—the beauty and the pain, each meaningless without the other.”

Recursion was relentlessly thrilling, unpredictable, and mind-blowing. Crouch’s narrative was utterly unputdownable, the harrowing events displayed were enormously impactful, and I absolutely loved every moment of reading this vivid magnificence. I can vouch with certainty that Recursion broke a new milestone for me by becoming the first sci-fi standalone to be included in my ‘favorites’ shelves with a full 5/5 stars rating. Read this breathtaking novel as soon as you can. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

I heard Recursion is currently being planned for TV series adaptation by Netflix and I’m so excited for it!

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

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8 thoughts on “Recursion

    1. Thank you!! I loved Dark Matter but imo this was simply better! I think the news was announced 4 days ago! I definitely look forward to that adaptation! 🙂

  1. I can hardly imagine anything better than Dark Matter, so the fact that EVERYONE is saying Recursion is better makes me so happy! Starting this soon, can’t wait 😁

    1. I know right? I thought Dark Matter was great already but Crouch really outdid himself with this one. I look forward to hearing what you think about Recursion; hopefully you’ll love it as much as I did! 🙂

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