If you haven’t, read 14 before The Fold, this is a sister/parallel story to 14 that builds upon the ideas set in 14, and creates a more well rounded narrative. The Fold by Peter Clines is a “bro” science fiction mystery. I like to call this branch of science fiction, bro-fi, because it isn’t a super serious science fiction novel. Sure, there is science involved in this story and 14 but it takes a back seat to the mystery elements of trying to figure out what is going on. While that is going on there is witty banter and characters creating relationships. I don’t take Clines’ novels too seriously, they aren’t really suppose to be taken super seriously, and I enjoy them for what they are, a science fiction mystery.
The Fold is about a guy named Mike that has a perfect idyllic memory with one of the highest IQs in the world. Mike tries to live a normal life as a school teacher but a friend of his invites him to work for him over the summer. Mike’s job is to go to a scientific testing location to see if the experiment is ready for further development. The experiment in question is the ability to fold space/time to travel great distances in one step. It is basically a teleporter. Mike is there for answers but things just don’t seem right.
The mystery is what makes The Fold and 14 interesting. Something unexplained is going on and there are characters that are trying to figure out the mystery. I just like this formula of story-telling. LOST is one of my favorite tv shows and Peter Clines’ novels remind me a lot of LOST. You can tell that Clines loves H.P. Lovecraft stories and sometimes that works but other times it can seem a little cheesy.
The writing is very conversational, in fact, because I listen to these books on audiobook, I think the writing comes through better as an audiobook than an actual book. If you like your science fiction more serious with social commentary, this is not your type of book. This is more Sy-Fy station original movie than 2001: A Space Odyssey. I just enjoy these more fun books that have a mystery element to them at times.
Like 14, the action scenes aren’t the most descriptive, and not my favorite parts of the books. That is my main issue with Clines’ writing. When things start to happen, there just isn’t enough description of movement, and what things look like that are happening. I have a hard time visualizing the action at times, especially if the action scenes are prolonged.
If you like mystery sci-fi that is interesting and you enjoy books that push you to want to know answers, then Peter Clines, and The Fold is one I would recommend. Just don’t expect this to be the next Hugo Award winner or something to challenge the way you think.
3/5 13/25 Possible Score
Plot – 3(Good)
Characters – 3(Good)
Setting/World Building – 3(Good)
Writing Style – 2(O.K.)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 2(O.K)