Like PB&J, a Winning Combination!
I would like to thank Crown Publishing & NetGalley for granting me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review.
"STEP INTO THE FOLD.
IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE.
The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn’t much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he’s content with his quiet and peaceful existence.
That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: far out in the California desert, a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device they affectionately call the Albuquerque Door. Using a cryptic computer equation and magnetic fields to “fold” dimensions, it shrinks distances so that a traveler can travel hundreds of feet with a single step.
The invention promises to make mankind’s dreams of teleportation a reality. And, the scientists insist, traveling through the Door is completely safe.
Yet evidence is mounting that this miraculous machine isn’t quite what it seems—and that its creators are harboring a dangerous secret.
As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there’s only one answer that makes sense. And if he’s right, it may only be a matter of time before the project destroys…everything.
A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you’ll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans."
An entertaining read, this book is stuffed full of twists and turns, both large and small. Though I was able to solve the main mystery long before the end I found that it didn't diminish the story in any major way. This story isn't just a mystery, but also an exploration into human behavior.
Leland "Mike" Erikson has been ripped from his quiet, normal existence and thrust into the middle of a mystery. One that he simply can't walk away from, something his friend knew before he flew Mike to D.C. under the pretense of 'just to sit in on a meeting'. A meeting marked the beginning of the end . . . at least of Mike's world as he preferred it. And maybe, just maybe, the end of much, much more.
Mike has tried to live his life as normally as possible, or as possible for someone with the skills he has. Not only is Mike's IQ in about the top 1% of the world, but he also remembers everything he reads, sees, hears, smells, and so forth. His brain is a walking computer with limitless memory - or if he has limits they certainly haven't been reached yet, and show no signs of that happening. Ever. And this is why Reggie needs Mike to investigate this project, and why Mike is such an intriguing character.
All his life, once they learn about his abilities, people have wondered why Mike doesn't use 'his full potential.' The way this is approached and the answers given are fascinating and open a window into who Mike is, and what makes him the way he is. It raises questions that are rarely even considered, and gives answers that are even less frequently considered.
His talents also impact all of his relationships, from colleague to parent to dates. And we get to see it play out throughout the duration of the tale. The manner in which the other characters respond to the news of his talents speak volumes about them, as well as demonstrating more about Mike himself. Witnessing the scientists reactions to Mike and his questions is both entertaining and educational. And Mike's response to their behavior as it relates to him is a lesson in itself.
The way these characters behave, as well as the head honchos providing the funding, plays nicely into the overall mystery. The idea of folding space as a method of travel is nothing new, but Clines breathes new life into it with this story. Though this is billed as a mystery and much of the external focus is on the science, my take away was certainly more about interpersonal relationships than it was about hard science. That's not to say there isn't any science in this book, because there most assuredly is. It's simply that the ratio was not what I'd anticipated when I began the book. For that I'm grateful, as I never want to read pages of mathematical equations, not even for the best mystery out there. The combination of science, mystery, and human dynamics is very well done here, and makes this one heck of a good read.
Personally there is a way the ending could have been twisted to really mess with your mind, but as I am not the author I can't say if it was considered and rejected, or simply not considered at all. It would have left the book much more open to a sequel in my mind, but then I think that this could fairly easily have a sequel as it stands today. My own ending concept or Clines printed ending, either way this book is more than worth your time!