The Fold – Peter Clines

About the Book


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 that 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 only be 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 genuinely page-turning science-fiction thriller. Step inside its pages and learn why author Peter Clines has already won legions of loyal fans.

384 pages (hardcover)
Published on June 2, 2015
Published by Crown
Author’s webpage
Buy the book 

This book was sent for me to review by the publisher.


The Fold is the type of book that I absolutely love. It’s part technothriller, part science fiction, and a whole lot of mystery. Set in our time, with plenty of pop culture references to ground it a bit, The Fold is incredibly readable, and very hard to put down.

Teleportation really isn’t a new idea. I’ve seen it used a bunch on television, in movies, or in the books I read. That’s part of what makes this book so accessible. The concepts are used enough in popular culture for Clines to not really have to throw around incredibly weighty topics, or dumb things down for readers like me. It’s just there, laid out, easy to understand, and therefore, the book is easy to absorb.

However, as with any idea that has been used before, there can be a struggle to make it feel unique for readers. Part of the thrill of this book is that readers don’t really know what is wrong until it’s absolutely obvious. That’s the mystery of it. Instead, we follow along with Mike, our protagonist, as he immerses himself in this science project/experiment and figures out what is wrong and what is right about it all.

It’s well done, and Clines knows exactly how to lead his readers down the rabbit hole. The science concepts aren’t hard to grasp, and the immensely readable nature of the book makes it quite easy to sit back and just enjoy the tempo and the tone of the work as a whole. Clines slowly mounts the tension and drops in clues as to what is really going on effortlessly.

Perhaps if there is one quibble I had, it was with characterization. While this book is more about the science project going on and less about the characters involved in it, I could have used a bit more. Mark is interesting, and his flawless memory puts a really unique spin on the plot, allowing him to see and remember things that no one else really would. He’s a large part of why things unravel and unfold for readers. It’s an incredibly well done plot tool, but Mark never really evolves beyond a very smart observer. Occasionally we get windows into how his memory has impacted his life – an uncomfortable childhood, nicknames, etc, but really, Mark is less of a person and more of a window into what is going on.

The secondary characters were pretty one note, which is unfortunate. Arthur and Olaf never really move beyond their overlord and (incredibly) grumpy exteriors. There really isn’t anything to them. Sasha has a bit more color. The love interest that happens toward the end of the book is pretty watered down and predictable, and I don’t think the book would have suffered without it (much, as it is used as a plot device at one point, but I’m pretty sure that could have happened another way without there being romance involved). Ben was my favorite secondary character, but…. (well, I can’t really continue without spoilers).

The Fold is an interesting book, and as I mentioned above, the strength of it is how incredibly readable it is. It’s hard to put down, hard not to devour. Yes, there are flaws, like the characterization lacked, and the ending left me wanting a bit, eventually the mystery became a little transparent. There were some leaps of logic, and some obviously bad decisions, but really that didn’t bother me too much. Some books are an absolute delight to read despite their imperfections, and this is one of them. The Fold hit all the right notes, despite missing a few that could have really rocketed this book somewhere amazing.


4/5 stars

3 Responses

  • Paul (@princejvstin)

    When is a Door not a door…?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂

  • Well said. I too gave it 4/5 stars, though I went opposite you: I didn’t mind the character depth, but the plot logic (or lack thereof) bugged me. Still a fantastic read, though.

  • Higgins

    Loved it. It was completely crazy, but in a good way…the same reason I loved 14.

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