REVIEW: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

July 2, 2017

 

SYNOPSIS: “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.

 

GENRE: Science Fiction, Thriller

RATING: ★★★★☆ / 4 - 4.5 Highly Entertained Stars

 

REVIEW: This book had actually been on my radar and to-be-read wish list for a while when Crown Publishing was nice enough to send me a paperback copy. And even then, I still somehow managed to check out the audiobook from the library instead. I had absolutely nothing against reading the physical copy but something about it just felt like it would make a great book to listen to on my daily commute. And I was right! I'm pretty convinced, though, that it makes a great book no matter how you read it.

 

I'm a big Michael Crichton fan and ever since his death I have been searching for that same feeling that his books gave me. Every now and again I can find snippets of that genius in other authors' work but it's rare. DARK MATTER delivers. Don't let me lead you astray, this book isn't a wanna-be and it isn't strictly a formulaic Crichton-like book, but it has that same energy and mix of genres and heart that I absolutely love.

 

DARK MATTER is a pretty quick read. It's smart and fast-paced and engaging. The beginning was a bit obvious but it didn't detract from the overall mystery or thriller elements. Mainly because all of those questions that are posed to the main character Jason (as well as the reader) are escalated as he goes along. Just when you think that the puzzle pieces have fallen into place and the answers are starting to make sense, there's a new twist or two to pop your eyes wide open.

 

For all the Science Fiction and Thriller plot points running throughout the book, there's also a very strong Romantic thread. In a way, it's also a love story, but it feels more real and true than any type of proper Romance book (don't worry, it's not some sappy, ooey-gooey, type of story, at all). It's hard to explain without giving spoilers but trust me when I say that it drives the book and our main character more than anything else. Love and family is the driving force of this book till the very end.

 

I have already recommended DARK MATTER to pretty much anyone who has asked me for a book recommendation lately. Family and friends have not come back to me disappointed. I also think this is a great bridging book for those that are not big Science Fiction fans. The author's every word is perfect and it's not over-the-top Sci-Fi. However, it also won't disappoint the true Sci-Fi enthusiasts either (unless you require aliens...this book does not have aliens or anything like that). Basically, DARK MATTER is a highly entertaining and quick read. So you should read it!

Review by The Literary Llama

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