Sunday, October 4, 2015

'The Fold' by Peter Clines

2015 Reading Challenge, Week 40 - A Mystery or Thriller.

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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.  


The intriguing blurb and clever cover made me want to read this book straight away, but it turned out to be a bit of a letdown.

Mike Erikson is a high school English teacher working beneath his intellectual capacity. Along with a sky high IQ, he has an eidetic memory, giving him complete photographic and instantaneous recall at all times. One day, his friend Reggie who works for DARPA almost pleads with Mike to take on a special job over his holidays. A team has been working on a device (the Albuquerque Door) which enables people to cover immense distances with just a few steps, but Reggie fears something sinister may be happening behind the scenes. It will be Mike's job to figure out whether or not everything is on the level.

After a riveting prologue, the first part of the book was very slow moving. With each new chapter, I hoped something exciting or breathtaking would occur, but no. There was quite a lot of technical chat about how the device was built, when all I wanted was to see first hand what happened when it was used. Maybe science buffs would enjoy the intricacies, but I'm a reader wanting to get stuck into a story, and it got beyond 40% on my kindle before anything noteworthy happened.

The dialogue is funny at times and flows well, but every character had to show their most unpleasant side, to fit the requirements of the crawling plot. Each team member had their own version of prickly defensiveness, as they feared Mike was going to pull the plug on their work. He in turn, had to be annoying, persistent and nosy. From the start, there were hints of attraction brewing between him and Jamie, and sure enough, she gradually opens to him. By then I didn't care about that subplot, as they'd both been getting on my nerves for some time. And I grew sick and tired of the over-used analogy running all through the story, comparing Mike's mighty brain to the movement of ants. It must have been repeated a thousand times.

Although I wanted things to happen, when they started, things got pretty strange. I was glad to finish this book.

Thanks to Crown Publishing and Blogging for Books for my review copy.

2 stars

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