Friday, September 11, 2015

Book Review: The Fold by Peter Clines

The Fold by Peter Clines
Hardcover, 384 pages Published June 2015 by Crown

The Fold is a interesting novel. It is a very straight ahead character driven science fiction tale that in the final act takes on a pulpy horror feel. I read the novel knowing nothing, I didn't read the jacket description, and Clines gave us almost no details at his Mysterious Galaxy signing event I went the week the book was released. The less you know the better for this novel, but that is often the case.

The whole novel hinges on a "Oh shit" moment that is 200 or so pages into the novel. Clines manages to create enough interesting characters and seed enough mystery that it carried me through. I suppose he will lose some readers before getting to that big Oh shit moment. I personally feel the pay-off makes the ride worth it all. That moment hit me pretty hard and I felt the fear and terror of the characters in a way that could not happen without the build up.

Our point of view for the story is Mike an interesting character, an english teacher who is recruited by Darpa to give his opinion on a teleportation device they are building. Why him? He has a photographic memory something that sounds cool, but when you get into the character you realize it is a burden. He is asked observe this teleportation system called the Alaqureque door and recommend to the Washington suits if they should keep funding it.

Peter and I have mutual friends and have appeared together on a panel before so I like the guy personally. I read two of his novels (Ex-Heroes and 14) before and liked both of those alot. The Fold is a science fiction novel, and much more influenced by the science than many sci-fi novels. It has horror elements in the final act but for the most part your narrative drive is the characters dealing with a good old fashion "what if?"

The big twist of this novel comes long before the end but it is powerful one. The moments before and after might lose some readers but I think it is the power of the story, and one worth reading.

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