It was recently one of the Book of the Month Club selections, and when I heard that this book was about an affliction that drove people mad with memories of a life they never lived, I snatched it right up. I love books about memory and timelines, so this was right up my alley.
Now I wasn’t familiar with Blake Crouch, the author of the book; then I learned that he penned the Wayward Pines trilogy, which was turned into a television series that I did he. He also is the author of Dark Matter, which I haven’t read, so these tidbits made me even more excited to read the book.
So this affliction is called False Memory Syndrome and leads up to a lot of people committing suicide as a result. The story starts out with the dual timelines of two people: Barry Sutton, an NYC cop whose teenage daughter was killed years earlier and Helena Smith, a neuroscientist who is trying to find a way to restore memories in Alzheimer’s patients. They are both trying to figure out what in the hell is going on and eventually, their paths and stories cross and converge.
Now I recommend going into this book knowing as little as possible about it, so I’m not going to say too much more. I will say that in their search for the truth about what’s going on, Barry and Helena discover that this whole memory thing is causing society to unravel as it becomes increasingly difficult to tell reality from these so-called false memories. It’s a story about preserving memories and then taking those memories to shift our reality.
So that being said, this is really a mind-bendy sci-fi story, the kind that I typically love. It’s not about aliens, spaceships, or planets but rather about time, about memories and our understanding of reality.
This is both a character-driven story and a plot-driven one with plenty of action which kept me glued to the page, hours past my bedtime. It’s one of those heart-in-your-throat kinds of stories — addicting, intense and one hell of a wild ride. It’s what happens when Pandora’s box is flung wide open.
I loved this novel so much that I’d say it’s probably my favorite novel of the year so far. What I loved about it was that it was so twisty that you never knew in what direction it was going to head next. It’s thought-provoking, fast-paced with a mind-blowing plot, super complex characters and is unputdownable, at least it was for me. I definitely plan on reading more by this author I gave this one 5 stars.