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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Published by Crown in 2016
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Picture it: December 31st, 2016. I’ve just returned from a birthday trip to the Denver Art Museum, one of my favorite places in a state I’m otherwise not thrilled with. I am not partying, because I’m me. I am exactly one book shy of my yearly reading goal, and I know I won’t make it through a novel on an evening already filled with excitement. Still, I want to finish the night with a book. I grab Dark Matter by Blake Crouch purely by chance, though I’d bought it at Goodwill a month before and walked past it every day since.
I read this book in one sitting, meeting my 2016 reading goals!
To give you a quick description:
“Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
The Writing in Dark Matter is Spot On
The first person, present tense narration feels spot on for the fast-paced story. Short, choppy paragraphs control your very breathing without being agitating. Flying through the pages of this book is effortless.
The Characters are Well-Developed
You cannot help but feel for Jason. His flaws are shown right up front: the regret, the jealousy, the obvious feelings of inadequacy about fatherhood. Utterly fucking real and relatable. Your heart breaks with his when he loses the life he was slightly less than enamored with.
The Science is Interesting Without Being Overwhelming
This is sci-fi that will appeal to both those in love with the genre, and those not so much. The science in it is explained without being too science-y. Dark Matter won’t alienate non science-y individuals. The concept is fascinating; such a fresh take on a scientific theory ever-growing among physicists (I won’t say which because spoilers).
I’d Recommend Dark Matter to Anybody and Everybody
but I think it could be especially touching for anyone 25+ years of age. If you are old enough to wonder how your life could have been, are a parent, and/or have been in a relationship/life situation you have taken for granted, the story will only hit you harder.
I laughed and cried and lent this book to absolutely everyone in my life who was willing to read it.
Here’s a link in case you’d like to buy Dark Matter on Amazon!
*I only link up books I’d give 5 stars to, and believe in 100%*
What About You?
Have you read it? What are your thoughts on science fiction that’s not too science-y?
*Note: My reviews are full of opinions. I may love a book. May want to marry it like the kid in the commercial for Peanut Butter Crunch (1999 was a great year for cereal and commercials, look it up). I may say a book is the best thing to happen to me since I started shaving my big toe. None of these things mean it is objectively good. I recognize that. Many times throughout my life, I have given a book I swore to be a life-changer to a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/llama. Shaking, quietly weeping, I’d hand it (and my heart) over. Only to find out several weeks later that for them the book was good, maybe even great, but not the life-giving, soul-renewing magic I’d purported. You may not like a book I recommend. Sue me.
**Please don’t sue me, I just write here.