Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
Holy Hell in a time traveling handbasket. This book was all sorts of deep and messy.
I feel that I must give fair warning though: this review will most likely have me swimming upstream against the tide of glowing reviews, salmon style... without the spawning of course.... mainly due to the fact that I had a COMPLETELY different experience than almost all of the other reviews I have seen. Bottom line is that I just didn't like the book. There, I said it, it dazzled with World Development but disappointed in every other category. I wanted to like it, I really did!! BUT, I couldn't seem to care for anyone or any thing which to me, is an unforgivable happenstance in a book.
This book hit some notes perfectly and the rest was discord. My experience with this book boiled down to something like this: (mindbending physics based philosophy) + (an annoyingly repetitive storyline) / (my precious reading time) = a massive case of Time Suckery...and not in a good way.
It is a Sci-Fi thriller that has its moments. It boasts okay characters, flat dialogue and absolutely brilliant world building. But can a book rest on its world building alone?? It is equal parts dark (good so far), fatalistic (which can definitely make a good read) and sluggish (zzzzzzz). Yes, there are lots of moving parts but they lack teeth or hooks to ensnare or even make me care one whit. Unfortunately it felt like an enormous Groundhog's Day ripoff with a bunch of (plausible sounding) scientific concepts thrown into the mix. This ultimately ended up coming out as a time loop yawn festival and that's saying a lot coming from me who absolutely inhales and lives for good Time Travel books. See there? The emphasis is on Good, and Recursion?? Well it was definitely on the wrong side of that word.
The story is told from 2 perspectives and both are pretty dull. Helena is a super genius, which is pretty awesome, but she is also a 2 dimensional character if ever I read one. Our second main character is Barry. He starts off as an NYPD detective who, many lifetimes later, casually picks up complex physics, philosophy and neuroscience like it was just a matter of changing his reading material. To me, that is quite unrealistic... but even with that, they still stumbled on.
I was zealously excited to read this book BUT I felt thoroughly cheated when reading started to feel like I was wading through syrup. What was the worst part you may ask? Well hands down that was when I got to the last sentence. There I found myself saying, through gritted teeth, "what the ever loving Fuck Blake??" It dropped off midsentence which is a categorical no no in my world!! There was slight conflict resolution but not enough to say "ahhhhhh now THAT was worth my time and mental synapse power making new memories of this book"! I want to sit in "the" chair, go back into my earlier timeline and choose a different book.
Overall: I guess Blake Crouch and I have officially decided to part ways. He just isn't for me. Both this book and Dark Matter gave me headaches (sans bloody nose, yet still just as annoying).
If you loved Dark Matter then this book will most likely be for you! Now me, on the other hand, I need a new book STAT to scrub this one from my memory.