Recursion: Blake Crouch

★★★★

Blake Crouch’s Recursion is the mind-boggling story of a scientist whose work on understanding and preserving memories creates unknowable ripples in the memories and realities of the world.

Barry is a police officer during a turbulent time; a new and frighteningly mysterious disease is giving people new memories of lives they never lived and causing existential crises, and even violence, in the sufferers. Barry has a hunch and goes searching for more information on the disease, but he can’t make sense of what he finds.

Ten years earlier, Helena is a scientist with a focus on – and obsession with – memory. Her goal is to map memories so that those with memory disorders – like her mother, who has Alzheimer’s – can save and relive their lost memories. Her research and funding have largely dried up, so when she’s offered a huge amount of money to work with a famous investor to develop memory-mapping technology she jumps at the chance.

What Barry and Helena each uncovers threatens the memories, minds, and lives of humanity. Can they stop what’s been started?

Content Warning

Please take caution while reading Recursion if any of the following topics may trigger you:

  • Self-harm / suicide
  • Violence
  • Death / dying
  • Blood

My Thoughts

Recursion is fascinating and the wildest ride! Filled with crazy twists and turns and mind-boggling theories on memory and time, it rocked my damn world, y’all. The story is heavy on abstract theory, but not in an unattainable or overtly classic “sci fi” way. A contemporary science fiction thriller, this is a wonderfully unique novel – and bonus, the cover is gorgeous.

This was a four star book for me – until the end. The end absolutely blew me away and boggled my mind. Truthfully, it’s a bit of a frustrating novel and somewhat redundant, but it makes sense in the context of the story and I feel that if a novel can make me feel something so strongly (unbelievable frustration!!), it’s pretty special. The beginning of the book was slow for me – Barry’s story didn’t captivate me as much as Helena’s. Once you get into the meat of the science though, I think the story picks up and continues to be very fast-paced.

Subject-wise, Recursion is one of the most brilliant novels I’ve ever read. Crouch is a genius and uses the manipulation of memory and time to his advantage and in the most clever of ways. I keep saying this, but it really did blow my mind.

This book is smart, it has major heart, and it’s a fast-paced read – win, win, win. I will absolutely be reading his first book, Dark Matter, after loving Recursion so much. I highly recommend this one to the more patient of readers and to sci-fi newbies!


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Recursion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!

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