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By J. Klinghoffer on 06-08-15
Fun premise, great performance, weak story
Have seen quite a few reviews praising this as being an original and even "out-of-the-box". It's not. It borrows heavily from the plot lines of several 1990's video games and ends with a scene ripped straight from a 1997 blockbuster sci-fi movie.
What it is, however, is a great opener, with an interesting mystery and a couple of initially intriguing characters. The setup is sort of trope-y (secret govt science, ominous signs of something going wrong, super competent hero-protagonist), but the prose, banter and character development of a genius English teacher are slick enough to make you feel that anticipation you get as you slowly climb to the first apex of a roller coaster.
Unfortunately, for me, it was all anticipation and no rush. The plot was close to transparent from outset, which of course dims the payoff, but it was really the characters themselves that really irritated me.
First, the protagonist was never really developed beyond the opening chapters. All we ever manage to learn about him is that: a) he likes being an English teacher, b) he's really, really smart and c) he has a perfect memory, which can be a burden. We are given the barest glimpses of the internal workings of a mind that, by all rights should be running NASA, but instead chooses to be a high school teacher.
Second, the conclusions and decisions of the characters do not prove out the premise that they are extremely intelligent scientists and a super-genius. With my middling IQ, I sorted out what was happening to the science team in the first chapter with little more than the title and cover graphic to go on. Yet, the super-genius protagonist couldn't rationalize it with several traditional clues, even as a far flung possibility, until much later on. This theme would run throughout the book, with the protagonist failing to make connections and manage obvious risk until it was too late to prevent bad things from happening. It started to feel like a Hollywood action script where characters are forced to make poor decisions for no better reason than to expedite the plot. Indeed, there were times when I actively disliked the characters I was supposed to be rooting for because their obviously terrible decision making was putting billions of fictional lives at risk.
If you are someone who easily suspends disbelief and don't get too wrapped up in the logic of how a story progresses, this could be a fun, fluffy, sci-fi romp. If you are looking for something equally lightweight and fun, but with intelligence, check out John Scalzi.
P.S. Vocal performance was excellent!
121 of 144 people found this review helpful
By Jim "The Impatient" on 09-01-16
Star Trek: Q-Squared
GAME OF THRONES
First, you got to like a book that starts out with references to Game of Thrones, the best drama ever, with or without boobs. Although, I prefer with. This starts out a bit slow, but than about chapter 24 hits on all cylinders and Clines never lets up on the gas. At first I thought maybe Clines made a mistake going all hard Sci-Fi, but than he starts with the crazy stuff and it was great.
Throughout the book are references to Game of Thrones and Star Trek. If you are not familiar with these shows, you will not get some of the references. Course if you are not familiar with these, you probably would not be reading this. I enjoyed the book, as I have enjoyed most of what Clines has wrote and I hope he writes more along these same lines.
One of the best narrators. He does not do a lot of voices, matter of fact these characters all sound the same as the Joe Ledger characters. Porter is the master of inflection and tone. He knows how real people talk and does a perfect job of bringing across the meaning of the writer's words.
If you are a big fan of the theme of this story and a fan of Star Trek, you will want to check out Q-Squared by Peter David.
135 of 165 people found this review helpful
By Doc G on 20-02-18
not the best<br />
i have enjoyed works by this author before, but the payoff on this one was just not there. I struggled to finish the last 4 chapters.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By shirley on 03-06-15
Loved it until the last couple of hours.
I have the same issue with this novel that I did with "14" - the ending just kind of went off the deep end into weirdness. Don't get me wrong, I loved the story! However, once the "secret" was revealed then we went from an engaging mystery to a horror film with several action sequences. It's almost as if both stories deliberately jumped from one genre to another.
I would have been supremely satisfied if the story had wound up two hours earlier. But that's just me. I'm not a fan of horror scifi. It's why I've never read any of Clines' zombie books. Just not for me. The mystery though, FANTASTIC, if a bit predictable.
Narrator does an amazing job!
146 of 182 people found this review helpful
By Anonymous User on 21-02-18
starts elegantly, ends as bad as it gets
The book opens elegantly, witty and smart. It's mysterious and riddle like. Then in some point it seems that a different author takes place - a 14 years old teenagers that turns the book into Marines vs bug prople. And the book goes to toilet.
17 of 21 people found this review helpful
By Josh P on 03-06-15
Especially good if you've already read "14"
Any additional comments?
Peter Clines is quickly becoming my favorite thriller / mystery / horror writer. While "The Fold" is a stand-alone novel much of mysteries that where solved in "14" are revisited in this book and serve as a foundation for the new mysteries in this book. You don't have to read "14" to understand "The Fold" but I believe you will find the solutions to the mysteries of this book more satisfying with that back ground. At first I thought "the fold" was completely new standalone novel that had no connections to his other works. Then I read what I thought was a cameo/shout out to some green iridescent roaches. That put a grin on my face. I don't want to say anything further so as not to spoil anything but I really suggest reading "14" if you haven't done so. As a note of warning, I would not read "The Fold" 1st and the "14". Some of the things discussed in "The Fold" are answers to the main mysteries the protagonist and his friends are trying to solve in "14".
Neither though is this book a true sequel to "14". Maybe it could be considered a spin-off Though as a stand alone book and you could enjoy it by itself. The closest experience I've had with something like this was watching Stargate Atlantis. I had never seen the original Movie or StarGate SG1 series before watching season 1 of Stargate Atlantis. I really enjoyed Stargate Atlantis so while I waited for season 2 to premier I went back and watched SG1 and the original movie. Doing that made Atlantis at the more enjoyable for me as I started to pick up on a lot more background things that I wouldn't have noticed without watch the earlier show. "The Fold" and its predecessor "14" bring out that extra information and world building in that same way.
Unlike "14", "The Fold" starts of with a more thriller vibe. To me the book really felt like I was listening to a Lincoln Child / Douglas Preston type novel for the beginning 2 hours.Our protagonist "Mike", who is blessed/cursed with a high IQ & Idetic memory being sent to investigate a secretive project being funded by DARPA, (unlike our everyday day joe hero of 14 just falling into the middle of a mystery). After those first 2 hours, the mystery kicks into high gear and all the things I loved about the way "14" was wrote started to appear. The character development and character relationships appear and you slowly see it change from the protagonist curiosity being the driving force to the entire group becoming interested working together.
This book is in my personal opinion a lot rougher than "14". If your expecting the same formula as "14", the core elements of it is there but there are also many changes. This time your even working with a governmental oversight viewpoint right from the start rather than just a group of friends. Does this make it better or worse than "14"? To answer I would go back to the StarGate analogy. I know some people really loved Atlantis & others where die hard SG-1 fans. IMHO, they where both good and I while I did have my own favorite of the two, both shows complimented each other so well that I could enjoy either show. That's what "14" & "The Fold" are in a sense. Two stories that compliment each other. You'll probably having a favorite among the two but having already read "14" will make you enjoy "The Fold" all the more, especially if you go in with the knowledge that it will feel quite different at least to start with, but all core elements that made "14" so good will eventual find a way into the story.
As for narration/voice acting. Ray Portor continues to give a stellar performance. If I see his name as narrator and it's a genre I like it's nearly an automatic buy. I can't think of anybody I've listened to with his narration that was a disappointment. It's kinda like Micheal Kramer and epic fantasy. I've been willing to purchase epic fantasy 20+ hour books whose authors I've never heard of and their plot summary I only find vaguely interesting, just because they do such a good job with narration, I'm willing to take a risk. Ray Portor is easily in my top 5 narrators and he does his gives his regular outstanding performance in this book.
So if you haven't read "14" I suggest you read that and then come back and read "The Fold" to maximize your enjoyment of the story. If you didn't like "14", I also suggest you give the "The Fold" a chance because it's just different enough from 14 that whatever you may not have like from "14", might have been replaced with a different writing style that you may enjoy more. Finally if you were expecting a "14" continuation/clone may I suggest you read at least halfway through before giving up. I believe all the things that made "14" such and enjoyable book are in "The Fold" in some form or another even if it's not immediately obvious. I do hope that Mr. Clines eventually picks something to put in the titles of these books to show that they are connected so future titles that occur in this "world" will be easy to spot. I do apologize if I rambled a bit in this review or came across as vague but found it extremely difficult to talk about any similarities between both books or make direct comparisons without spoiling any of the story/mystery. To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed "The Fold", I finished it in one non-stop binge and as for "14" I think I read it at least 6 times in the past year. All I can say is that I hope you will give both "The Fold" & "14" a try and that you enjoy it as much as I did.
99 of 128 people found this review helpful