Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: "The Fold" by Peter Clives

The not-a-sequel-but-it's-totally-a-sequel to "14" tells the story of Leland "Mike" Erikson. A small-town high-school teacher with an eidetic memory and a genius IQ, Mike is called in by his DARPA friend to look over a new, high-tech project: "The Albuquerque Door", a new scientific breakthrough that can "fold" time-and-space, allowing for instantaneous travel.

Mike is fascinated. The Door's team, however, is secretive, insular, and just a tiny bit off.

So is the Door itself.

And as Mike pokes around, he finds out that the Door is not what it seems.

"The Fold" is set in the same world (more-or-less) as the brilliant "14". It takes place a year or two later and has more than a few crossovers with "14", both in the form of certain characters returning and certain creatures.

We get a return of the formulas and predictions of Aleksander Koturovic, the mad Victorian-era scientist whose genius is behind so much of the insanity of "14". We get the weird bugs. We get the weird creatures. And we even get to learn a few odd tidbits about things in "14", such as some family details about Anne, the temp who worked with Nate in "14" and appears in "The Fold" with a new role.

I found "The Fold" to be an enthralling book. I found "Mike" Erikson a bit of an annoying Mary Sue for about ten minutes, then got lost in the story and his crazy view of the world.

The story went in some truly weird directions, and I have to give Peter Clives props for his myriad nerd comments. His dive into esoteric "Star Trek" spin-offs were truly inspired.

If I had to pick a favorite between the two, I'm going to lean towards "14". There was just too much about "14" and its everyday crew facing mad science weirdness that resonated with me, but I really enjoyed "The Fold" as well.

If you like your mad science thrillers with a flavor of Lovecraft, I strongly recommend "The Fold". And if you liked "14", check it out. You won't regret it.

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