By: Blake Crouch

At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself.

LifeWithXi's Takeaway

Thanks to NetGallery for this advanced reader copy that I was able to enjoy this book much earlier!

Similar to Dark Matter , Recursion is a psychological thriller that will leave you questioning reality. Detective Barry Sulton investigates a mysterious disease spreading around the NYC, only to find him entangled in a dark and complex situation with neuroscience Helena Smith. 7/8

Auuster's Takeaway

There are different ideas on how time travel will work. This book explores the idea that time travel occurs where only a person’s consciousness is transported back in time. If you were to be transported back in time 20 years, you would have your older-self’s mentality but younger-self’s body. This is the first time I have heard of this idea of time travel, but it opens up a different type of possibilities. The most obvious is to go back in time to save their loved ones from preventable death or go back in time to amass a fortune for your future-self.

A second timeline is created every time someone goes back in time. False memory syndrome (FMS) is a phenomenon that occurs when the second timeline meets up with the end of the first timeline. Here old memories from the first timeline merges with the second timeline. For parties that are unaffected by the time traveller, FMS is not noticeable because the first and second timelines are exactly the same. Conversely, if someone had died in the previous timeline and are currently living the first timeline, they will remember the pain and euphoria of death.

The story follows Helena Smith, the inventor of the conscious time travel machine, and Barry Sutton, a washed-up unmotivated NYPD detective, as they attempt to stop Marcus Slade from exploiting the Recursive behaviour of time travel.