Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fiction Review: The Fold

Last May, while attending Booktopia at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT, I chose a book from their sci fi section based on a shelf talker with a rave review from one of the booksellers: The Fold by Peter Clines. I gave it to my husband for Father's Day, and he enjoyed it. I finally found time to read this mind-bending novel last month and found it fast-paced and intriguing, with an original plot.

Mike is living a quiet life as a high school English teacher in a small town in Maine, but his friend Reggie knows he could be doing much, much more. Mike is super-intelligent and has eidetic (sometimes called photographic) memory, and Reggie has a project that needs his unique talents. Reggie works for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and has a team of scientists that have made an astounding discovery, something that will allow teleportation for the first time in history. But the scientists are far too secretive about what they've developed, and now there are hints that maybe something has gone wrong. Mike is intrigued enough to agree to spend his summer vacation at the top-secret research facility in California, but the more he gets to know the team and learns about their invention, the more concerned he becomes. This project could actually destroy them all - and maybe even the entire world. It comes down to Mike's unique talents to unravel the mystery of what is actually going on.

This fascinating story grabbed my attention almost immediately. It reminded me in some ways of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch, one of my favorite reads from last year, with its suspenseful sci fi plot and thought-provoking "science" about bending time (and more). The Fold, however, is unique, with its own jaw-dropping twists and an action-packed narrative. In fact, that might be my only criticism of this novel - toward the end, it becomes very focused on action, with several violent battles. For many sci fi fans, that's a plus (my son loves battles in his fiction!), but I prefer more thoughtfulness (of which there is plenty) and less hostility. That's a minor quibble, though, as overall, the novel kept my attention rapt and my brain marveling over the possibilities, which is what I like most about a good sci fi story.

375 pages, Broadway Books

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.

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  1. I was on such a dystopian (and sometimes sci fi) kick a few years ago and I haven't read any recently. This sounds good.

    1. I really love this kind of story - anything that involves time travel or time bending or similar themes, but I don't find time to read that stuff often enough!