Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: "Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch

I remember hearing about Dark Matter when it released ... at the time, I'd just started watching a TV show called Dark Matter (see my thoughts on the show here), and I made the (erroneous) assumption that the two were connected. Well, they're both sci-fi ... and that's where the similarities end!

About a month ago, Dark Matter was deeply discounted on Kindle. After asking my sister if I'd like it (she said yes), I pulled the trigger. Flash forward to my trip to San Francisco last month. On my first flight, I was looking for something to read, and, shock of all shocks, I wasn't feeling YA or inspy romance. So I started Dark Matter and got swept into a really intriguing story.

“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.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

How do I write this review without spoilers? Um ... yeah. This is going to be vague.

I have to admit that in the beginning, before I realized where Crouch was going with the story, I though it was a little slow. In fact, I was about to give up when ... mind blown. Crouch takes that question we've all wondered about at some point—"How would my life be different if I'd made a different choice?"—and expands it to the nth degree. Yes, this is science fiction (and a take on one of my favorite sci-fi concepts that is often played with in Greg Berlanti's Arrowverse ... and that's all I'll say about that!), but at its core, it's one man's journey to get back to his wife and son. It's a beautiful story with an exquisite ending, and I'm so glad I read it! 4-1/2 stars.

Note: The book contains lots of cursing (especially the f-word) and a couple fade-out, totally non-graphic sex scenes. There's also some violence, but it's not graphic.

Buy the book.

Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the novel Dark Matter, for which he is writing the screenplay for Sony Pictures. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show. With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the TNT television show starring Michelle Dockery based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He has written more than a dozen novels that have been translated into over thirty languages and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Crouch lives in Colorado with his family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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