Step into the fold. It's perfectly safe.
The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.
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.
As his investigations draw him deeper into the puzzle, Mike begins to fear there's only one answer that makes sense. And if he's right, it may be only a matter of time before the project destroys...everything. A cunningly inventive mystery featuring a hero worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a terrifying final twist you'll never see coming, The Fold is that rarest of things: a genuine pause-resister science-fiction thriller. Step inside its audio and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.
©2015 Peter Clines (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
"Narrator Ray Porter deftly captures the emotions of a group of people who are caught up in a force they don't understand.... Porter ably voices a wide range of characters--from the gruff team leader to the foul-mouthed female engineer and the stammering alien leader. Porter is an affable travel guide on this thrilling trip to a frightening world." (AudioFile)
This is a perfect example of why I refuse to even look at anything about a book other than the publisher's summary before listening to a book- especially reader reviews. If I had read most of the reviews here on Audible I would have had one of the coolest parts of this book spoiled for me. Seriously guys. Some of you are clearly the same people who would run around telling everyone that Vader was Luke's father or Bruce Willis was dead the whole movie. Learn to review without spoiling the plot. See below for an example.
So, Clines has done it again. I walked into it with such high hopes after listening to '14'; I was not disappointed in the least. This author can tell a story. Incredibly likable characters that show a lot of depth, even within the context of a sic-fi thriller. Geeky pop-culture references, fast paced story, and interconnection that will surprise you.
It is hard for a lot of authors to keep the lines of a complex sic-fi plot that focuses on multiverses and quantum mechanics straight, but Clines does just that. At no point did I feel lost or rushed. There weren't even any gaps in the plot line or inconsistencies. On the contrary, it melded seamlessly into a much broader story that Clines is clearly working on. It was that seamless weld that had me nearly giddy with joy and upped my reverence of the author- I am officially a Clines fan boy now.
The ending will be a bit much for readers who aren't in the 'out there' mood, but that's OK. Ray Porter did a tremendous job once more with the narration. Adult themes throughout, would probably get an R rating for language (primarily) and some violence if it were a movie.
I cannot wait for Clines' next book and hope, very much, that he continues down the path he has set.
Highest marks, absolutely worth a credit.
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!
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!
“Ah, the outdoors,' Shallan said. 'I visited that mythical place once.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
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.
This book is a side-quel to "14"--not a sequel. Although I do hope for a true sequel or even novella to 14, I was so pleased with this side-adventure in the "14" reality. There aren't many people who can write Tesla fiction to my delight, but as always Mr. Clines is good about it. This book is a science fiction tale of an English Teacher with an IQ higher than 180. His friend recruits him to look a project called the Albuquerque Door. Although his buddy has tried to recruit him in the past, Mike Erickson has never taken the opportunities. Mike is also a genius with eidetic imagery, who visualizes ants bringing him information. It was a great idea and had me thinking more about my memory and how it is formed.
Much like 14, this book explores the multiverse theory, and did I mention that Clines writes Tesla fiction well??? Throughout the read, Mr. Clines explores the complication that occur when one explores alternate realities. He does use some off-colored jokes (I laughed at every one). But that's not all! You get --sex--fights--morality exploration-- and suspense! This book was a fast paced adventure that when I purchased it, I stopped everything else and listened.
If you are trying to decide on whether to read this or not, I have lead off with the best part....stop reading reviews, get the book. It is well worth it. There's some swearing and some sex and some hand-to-hand combat, but enough that my 13-year-old was listening with me but asked for the hardcover book. Mostly, it's about science and a gifted team figuring out and dealing with a huge mystery in a high tech secret government project. Now if I can get a 13-year-old to put down the playstation to read the book and you still cannot decide....I don't know what else to tell you!
When I started this book I was excited to hear a non-traditional storyline with a star character who had a "super power" that bordered believable. I really enjoyed the first part of this book, and was excited to see where it went... I never expected it to crash and burn like it did. I enjoy science fiction books, but I wasn't expecting a 1950's horror film genre. Once I realized it had taken a turn for the worse, everything became predictable and it was all I could do to force myself through the end. Thanks Audible for 3X speed!
I gave it 2 stars because I think that the author has potential, I really liked the first part of the book, but the reality of it is, 1 star would be pushing it.
14 was campy and fun so I gave Fold a shot. Very similar in formula - a little too similar. There's a slightly quirky leading man and a spooky mystery with an assorted gang of secondary characters. But this time the characters felt flat and the mystery/plot did not hold together.
Also, I can suspend reality and enjoy a good scifi turn, but this one felt tinny and for a group of super smart protagonists, they sure seemed clueless a lot of the time.
I have never returned an audible book before, but I honestly feel like I deserve my credit back this time. And not one is ever re listen to.
Yes, if, like me you are getting fed up with the constant, excessive use of vulgar language, then this book isn't for you. It interfered with the flow of an otherwise good story--especially a distraction, since those using the crass language are supposed to be scientists, and brilliant.
Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.
Re the first 1/2 of the book: I loved the primary characters; the dialogue (repartee' actually) was fast and entertaining. The story line was interesting and very plausible if the reader was willing to stretch some scientific principles. The book was setting up to be an investigative story with solid sci fi flavoring -- my 2 favorite genres. I was loving the narrator. And I was preparing to write a solid 5 star review and immediately look to see if Clines had started a series based on these characters and the overall premise of this book.
Then came the second 1/2: The plausibility factor dropped below zero. I got so distracted by trying to keep the occurrences in some logical framework that I had to back up and relisten several times. And, yes, given that I really enjoy fantasy and sci fi, I do realize that suspending disbelief is an essential requirement. But this was over the top and became hard to follow. The characters that I had come to know were changing pretty rapidly and things were happening without enough context to keep the story line coherent. I almost gave up which I only do on very, very bad books.
The came the last couple chapters. Somehow Clines wrapped things up without resolving the plausibility problems, but I didn't seem to mind. The book left a definite opening for a series to evolve. And I got rehooked and will hope for a series to actually happen. Just another reminder to never give up on a book unless it has proven unworthy beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The Fold is an interesting sci-fi novel based on the theory of folding space to be able to travel long distances quickly, hence the title. Despite that fact, the book takes place solely on earth and centers on a secret DARPA project where scientists have built the Albuquerque Door - a matched set of rings that allows anyone, or anything, to travel instantly between them. Clearly this is going to be mankind's greatest invention and it will change civilization forever; however, something about the door just doesn't add up.
Despite hundreds of successful tests, the project sponsor has a gut feeling that something isn't quite right and he wants to get to the bottom of it before the next round of funding is provided. He convinces his friend Mike to investigate the project because Mike is one of the smartest people on the planet and has an eidetic memory which allows him to remember everything he ever sees. The scientists are hiding behind a tight non-disclosure agreement and will share no information about "how" the door works, so the truth will need to be puzzled out Sherlock Holmes style.
The first two-thirds of the book are all about peeling back the onion and unraveling what exactly is going on with the door. Despite the fact that quantum mechanics and multi-verse theories are tossed about it is easy for the listener to align with Mike who is trying to solve the mystery despite not being a trained scientist. It manages to stay fun throughout with quirky humor, a number of nerdy pop culture references, and even quantum donuts.
Then the story takes a sideways turn which is not for everyone. It is hard to say much about it without spoiling it, but it does get a little weird. If that concerns you then you can get a bit of a spoiler by checking out the book "14" by Peter Clines which is a bit of a sister story to this. I did not have any additional context from "14" to know where this book was going and I still enjoyed it overall. I would rate this one at 3.5 stars but since that isn't an option I am going with 3 stars because I know the ending isn't for everyone.
Ray Porter does his usual excellent job on the narration.
"Disappointing after 14"
I got this book on the strength of Clines last book "!4" which was excellent. However, this book was a disappointment. It started off well, but as soon as we grasp what's happening with the "door" it descends into a load of shallow, rubbish action with little or no suspense and no reason to invest or care about any of the characters or their fates. I actually fell asleep and rewinded the end. Unfortunately, this only confirmed I really didn't care what had happened to any of the characters and it's no wonder I ended up snoozing.
It's a shame, as the beginning was so promising and I can't help but feel it could have been a really good book. I'm still hoping that Clines will find the magic of "14" again. he seems to lose it after he's built the crux of the story and introduced us to all the characters.It's almost like he doesn't know how to ride the wave and get us to shore - we almost get to stand up on the surf board and then we instantly drown.
If you haven't read "14", I'd highly recommend reading that first, then I'd opt for another place to spend your credit than on this novel. That said, I'm still holding out hope for Clines next book...
I enjoyed the book at the beginning but really felt that it tailed off at the end. some of the plot was a bit holey, partly due to the power given to the main character which is a good plot device but ends up making some parts difficult. became a bit unbelievable towards the end.
"Great performance, but a bit let down by the story"
I was gripped until about halfway through. shame. after all the great pseudo science, the end just seemed silly to me. great narration though.
"The first two thirds are great..."
This was a real page turner (so to speak) for the first half to 3/4 off the book but at the end the story takes an unnecessarily weird turn and utterly lost my interest. The concept was brilliant, I just wish the author could've produced an ending more in-keeping with the first half, if he had I'd have been recommending this book from the rooftops.
I began reading this book because of the obvious similarities with Fourteen. It's not exactly a sequel, more of an addition to Fourteen and I hope it will lead to a series of books following the residents of the Kavach building now with Mike and Jamie. The characters arnt as likeable as fourteen but that's fine as it still works well, the ending is exciting and unexpected and kept me hooked. Ray porters performance as ever was flawless and brilliant. Overall it's an enjoyable story but I would suggest reading Fourteen first, it's not absolutely necessary but it made the ending much more satisfying and fun to read.
"Innovative, fresh new ideas"
This was a great read and full of fresh new ideas, great character development and dialogue. The kind of book which makes you look for something else by the same author - which I am reading now!
"Boring Mary Sue"
Very thorough job on the performance, but it couldn't save the story for me. Main character takes over everything, reducing anybody in his vicinity to helpless/stupid/childish tokens to be moved about. Hard to keep up interest when neither character actions, nor dialogue, makes any particular sense.
"great plot strange ending"
as someone who knows a little more physics than most (not an expert) the storyline gets a tad predictable but a thoroughlt enjoyable read nontheless. interesting plot and something that hasnt been produced as professionally since the amber spyglass
"Plot relies on stupidity"
The entire plot relies on the stupidity of the whole cast. The book made me scream at it constantly in oncredulity, but the narrator made the story at least bearable to listen to.
"Story is not as good as 14 :-("
But Ray Porter is excellent. So that keeps you listening! Feels like the start of a series ;-)
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