The Fold // by Peter Clines

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//published 2015//

I got basically nothing else done on the day I started reading The Fold.  Somehow, the writing completely engaged me, and I couldn’t put it down.  In retrospect, I can see all kinds of holes in this story’s logic (including a major one that I’ll put in the spoiler section), but I am still giving this book 4/5 just because it was irresistible reading for me.

Mike is a high school teacher.  Just a normal guy trying to live a normal life.  But his friend, who works for the government, approaches him with a possible job, Mike agrees to at least attend the meeting – even though he isn’t really interested in the gig.

Out west, a group of scientists have been working several years on a project, and are seeking more grant money.  Mike’s friend wants Mike to go to their project and assess whether what is happening there is on the up-and-up.  The project involves a sort of teleportation, wherein dimensions are folded together, so that a single step can pass over a long distance.  I got a little bit of deja vu when I was reading this, because it really brought to mind Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which I read many, many years ago and barely remember.  But the part I do remember is that the example used was an ant at one end of a string, trying to get to the other end.  Twelve inches for him to walk to get to the other side of the string – unless the two ends are brought close together in a “U” shape.  Then the ant is able to travel one inch (or less) – but still gets to the other side of the string: a wrinkle in time.

Clines uses a similar concept by putting two dots on opposite sides of a piece of a paper, but then folding the paper so they touch: the dimensions are folded together, and the dots are now next to each other, even though they are still technically on opposites sides of the paper.

Honestly, the whole book was super sketch when it came to science, and I read a lot of reviews ragging on it for that.  So if you like your sci-fi to be amazingly sound science, this isn’t for you.  But if you’re like me, and you just want your sci-fi to be entertaining and exciting – well, you may enjoy this tale.

The ending was a little weak, but I think that if I had read Clines’s other book, 14, I may have understood it better.  But this was another one of those cases where I have no idea the two books are linked until it’s too late.  I just don’t understand why, if an author is going to make two of his books interconnected – even loosely – no one bothers to mention that at the beginning.  Like, “Oh, hey, you can totally read this independently, but if you want the full impact, read this other one first!”  I hate reading things out of order, so this is super annoying to me.

Bit of a spoiler rant below, but all in all a fun, engrossing read – and #9 for 20 Books of Summer!!!

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