Recursion – Brian J. Walton

* I received a free copy of this novel as part of the Dominion Rising launch event on Facebook.  This is an honest, unbiased review.*

51huOe459JL__UY250_Blurb:  TIME TRAVEL IS REAL

And more dangerous than ever…
The Interlopers are after me, my route home is compromised, half my team is missing, and someone is trying to destroy the past.

Paris, 1951 — Molly Gardner is an agent for the ISD, a secret government agency policing the time tunnels. The ISD protects the world from Interlopers, illegal travelers who exploit the tunnels for their own needs. Molly has always believed the ISD had ultimate control of the tunnels. But she’s wrong.

On a routine mission, Molly arrives to find her team scattered and her station burning, destroyed by a Recursion Event. New revelations send Molly on a desperate flight across Europe, pursued by a mysterious Interloper named Phaedrus.

Determined to learn the truth, and haunted by a tragedy from her past, Molly must choose between answers and the safety of the few remaining members of her team. But safety may be a lost cause, and discovering the truth will change everything Molly thought she knew about her past, present, and future.

Escape through time. Read Recursion Book One of the Recursion Event Saga and begin fighting the Interlopers today… or yesterday.

Phew!  I felt breathless after finishing this book!

You jump right into the action from the first page and the furiously fast pace doesn’t let up until the sudden calm of the final, epilogic chapter.  This definitely classes as an action thriller as well as a sci-fi.

The sci-fi element is time travel via discovered ‘tunnels’.  I liked the concept that people discovered such tunnels accidentally during times of extreme duress, as in the case of our main protaganist, Molly, who falls (floats?) through one underwater during a traumatic car accident.  I found the idea that the phenomenon is linked to personal emotions rather than just being a scientific/natural occurence.

The story is told in the first person, with flashes back and forward (naturally…time travel!), often punctuated by periods of unconsciousness.  Molly is a competent and decisive agent and the reader has automatic trust in her, which is good because you can’t trust any of the other characters!  There is plenty of espionage activity here, related to control of the tunnels, although everyone’s motives are still unclear at this point in the wider story arc.

The novel reminded me of the film ‘Inception’, in both content and style, especially in the uncertainty about what is real and truly happened, and what is purely in the character’s mind:  is she married to James?  Does the top fall?  There are questions about the nature of our memories and how much we can trust them; the morality of ‘meddling’ in events that have already happened or are going to; loyalty and how well we can know people…

This book sets up the questions, but doesn’t answer many of them, as it is obviously the first in a series that will explore both the technology and the characters’ shadowed pasts in a future installment.  Instead we get a quick guided tour of the factions in play, the technology available, and the issues to be explored, at whirlwind speed, then a pause at the end to catch your breath and regroup before starting Book 2.

If you like your reading to be non-stop action with a sci-fi twist then this is definitely the book for you.  Be prepared to read it in one sitting!

Smoke fills my lungs as I fall out of the blackness and onto a hard-packed dirt floor.  Coughing, I roll onto my side, blinking away burning tears.  A staircase on the far side of the room stretches up to a shut door.  Shelves filled with jars and canned food line one wall.  Racks of guns line the other.  Have I been here before?

I remember my mantra.

Your name is Molly Gardner.  You are an agent for the ISD.  You have just travelled through time.

But when?  And where?

– Brian J. Walton, Recursion

Check out the author’s website here, or you can contact Brian J. Walton on Facebook or Twitter.

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