The cover of The Fold.
I feel I’ve said it time and time again when I write a science fiction book review, but I am so happy to be reading something that doesn’t take place in a dystopian society. Don’t get me wrong, I love those stories. But so much of sci-fi is that anymore, that something new (even if it’s on old themes) is refreshing.
The Fold is a hard sci-fi novel that focuses on the science. Or at least for the first half. You follow Mike as he tries to workout what exactly is going on with a top-secret DARPA project involving dimensional travel. Once he figures it out, we enter into more of a “speculative sci-fi” type of story. This difference could be off-putting to some readers. You have to be the type who likes both strong science-y sci-fi, and the more out there aspects of speculative sci-fi. And even as someone who enjoys both genres, I had a bit of a problem with the shift.
That being said, I really enjoyed The Fold and plowed through it in four days. It was a fun page turner. Clines did a great job of building tension, even if the mystery was a bit predictable as a veteran sci-fi reader. The pop culture references are fun, but not over the top in an Armada way. But much like Armada, this is the kind of thing that would have been the perfect summer book to read by the pool. The afterword said this was a “side-quel” to 14, which I’ve already picked up.
Update 4/11: I just finished 14, and I recommend that as well. Even though these are supposed to be parallel stories, I feel like reading 14 first is still a good call. It makes some of the events in The Fold make a bit more sense.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Fold for review from Blogging For Books. Amazon links are affiliate links.