Friday, January 22, 2021

Sci-Fi Mini Reviews: Recursion and This Is How You Lose The Time War

Scientist Helena Smith believes that memories are crucial. In fact, she is working on a new technology that would allow people to preserve their most cherished memories forever. But police officer Barry Sutton sees the danger of memories, especially when he encounters a woman suffering from False Memory Syndrome. This woman remembers an entire life that no one else believes is true, and her inability to align her memories with that of the world around her drives her to suicide. Barry and Helena team up to find out how and why memories are changing. But how can they find a solution when they can't trust their own memories?

Blake Crouch is one of the most interesting writers working in science fiction today. His books consistently make me think about the limits and ethics of technology and when I finish one of his stories, I always want to discuss it with someone. What could be more human or more emotional than a book about keeping our memories? Recursion is a book for sci-fi/speculative fiction readers, mystery readers, and anyone who loves a great story. 

Recursion
By Blake Crouch
Crown Publishing June 2019
324 pages
Read via Netgalley


It's just another mission, just another world laid to waste during war. But one thing is different--Agent Red finds a letter among the ashes that tells her to burn it before reading. Blue and Red, on opposite sides of the battlefield, find themselves embarking on an unlikely correspondence. Each is committed to victory for their own side. But as they write to each other, it's unclear which is more dangerous--that their correspondence will be discovered and they will be executed as traitors, or that their relationship will grow beyond the confines of a letter. 

This Is How You Lose The Time War was one of the most heralded sci-fi stories of 2019, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Each author writes from the vantage of one character: Blue, whose world is one of forests and bacteria, and Red, who fights for a world of clockwork devices and bombs. Their relationship begins as a gleeful taunt, a way to proclaim victory over a worthy opponent. But the two agents begin to care for each other, knowing they cannot win the war and save the one they love. My complaint is that we get so little time with these characters before we jump to the other side, another perspective, another country, another strand in time. There is no question that this book is an impressive feat but the problem is always time--I wanted more time to spend with Red and Blue and see how their relationship grew and where they went next. 

This Is How You Lose The Time War
By Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Saga Press July 2019
209 pages
Read via Netgalley 

3 comments:

  1. Hi, Lindsey! Both of these books are on my TBR list. I'm hoping to read them at some point this year. Great reviews. :)

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  2. Recursion sounds really interesting! I'm always fascinated by how memories work, so this is a book I'll take a look at. Thanks!

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