Audiobook Review – The Fold by Peter Clines
A Rapid Review
Publisher: Crown | June 2015
Format: Print and Audio | 384 pages/11 hours
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 4 stars
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 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.
From outward appearances, nothing about Mike Erikson stands out as unusual. He’s a regular guy teaching at a small town high school, so it seemed odd when he was recruited to investigate the mysterious happenings at a DARPA lab. But Mike has some special abilities; ones that make him uniquely suited to the task, as the scientists at the lab soon discover. His mission: find out what secrets the team is hiding and why the project is taking so long to complete.
The story started out strong. It had all the elements I love about a good science fiction novel. The characters were well-developed and geeky – ie the cranky genius, the trekkie; stereotypical but fun. The plot unfolded at a quick but even pace, the scientific device – a teleportation machine – was made easy to understand and, even though fiction, was one of those devices we would all like to have. That and a time machine!
About two-thirds of the way through the plot makes an abrupt switch to a horror story. Until that point, this was a resounding 5-star read. I have no objection to horror stories; Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. But this turn of events had a silly B-movie feel to it. I was disappointed, but the first half more than made up for it. Even those who don’t normally seek out science fiction would enjoy this book – it’s more action-packed thriller than scifi. And the ending left an opening for a sequel.
I read this in audio and print. The audio was performed by Ray Porter who did a fantastic job with the characters and the segues back and forth as the narrator. At first I thought this might be an ensemble production, it was that good. The pacing was quick and he kept the story moving. It was easy to follow and it’s not overly scientific. I recommend the audio to listeners of all levels for its engaging qualities. [Audio Sample on SoundCloud.]
Source: Print review copy provided by LibraryThing.
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