Review: The Fold by Peter Clines
Published by Crown Publishing Group on June 2, 2015
Genres: Science Fiction
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.
I really enjoyed reading The Fold. It is a fun, thrilling and at times a bit creepy. It centers on a scientific experiment toying with dimensions of space and time, folding it over to allow travel as fast as teleportation, but without all the messy details of disassembling and reassembling the object (or person) that is traveling. It is a “too good to believe” type scenario that appears to be working. But, something is not quite right and someone needs to find out why.
I really enjoyed the protagonist, “Mike” Erikson (Mike is a nickname that is nothing like his actual name. I’ll let you read how that came about in the book. 🙂 ). He is a high school English teacher that seems content and we start to realize he is more he initially seems. Initial tip off? His friend Reggie is trying hard to recruit him to investigate the super secret DARPA project mentioned above, to be the person to try and crack what is not quite right with this amazing project. Not normally a position that recruites High School English teacher. It turns out that Mike is quite intelligent (like aced his IQ test type of intelligent) and to top it off, he has a photographic (eidetic) memory.
Mike has been trying to live just a simple, normal life. Meanwhile his brain is constantly going, memorizing every detail that passes in front of his eye. This is not the first time Reggie has approached him about a position, but it is the first time that Reggie is certain Mike will accept. This is a project like no other, and while Reggie can not reveal any details about to Mike, he is still sure to win him over. As much as Mike might try to be “normal”, he’s not. And his brain loves a challenge and is especially adept at solving problems even when they are not in “his area of expertise”. Mike is always saying something is “not his area of expertise”, but honestly, I think it’s because pretty much everything is his area of expertise as long as he has, or has had, access to information on it.
My only problems with it really centered on inconsistencies revolving around The Fold. I felt like something dangerous and undesirable would happen in one scene, but then instead of remembering and working around that in the next one, it’s like other scene never happened. None of the precautions I expected to be put in place were. In one case they would recount a side effect at times, they never really seemed concerned with the danger involved, or in including that danger in any type of strategy. All and all, maybe that’s not a big problem, but it is something I noticed and pulled me out of the story a bit. And with an eidetic memory, you know that Mike has not simply forgotten these details (not that I think he could even with a normal functioning memory).
Overall though, it was a good read. The ending seemed to be set up decently for the possibility of a sequel. If there is one, I would check it out as I am curious what is in the future for these characters.