Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark MatterDark Matter is not my usual type of read.  It’s Sci-Fi, which I don’t normally go for.  BUT, last year I read so many good reviews that, when I saw it at the library, I decided it was worth a try.

It starts in the present, the here and now, with Jason Dessen helping his wife, Daniela, and son, Charlie, make dinner.  It’s their Thursday night tradition and he is happy.  Life is good, not what he might have thought it would have been when he was younger, but right where he wants to be.

Then, breaking with tradition, Daniela persuades him to go and meet a friend for a drink.  That’s when it all starts going a bit – more than a bit – wrong as he is followed home in the dark and forced to drive to a remote location, where he is given a pill that will change his life.  When he wakes up, he is still Jason, but not the Jason he knows.  He is in a different world, a world where he isn’t married, where he isn’t a dad.  Instead, he is a brilliant scientist who has been missing for two years after attempting time travel.  Now, it looks like the brilliant scientist version of Jason, succeeded.  The question is, how does Jason get back to his real life?

Which is where we enter the realm of Sci-Fi. Thankfully, for me, it is a “gentle” type of sci-fi.  Yes, there are other worlds, yes there is language that I don’t understand and did find a bit confusing.  But, at it’s core, this is a story about a man who loves his family and is determined to do anything to get them back, risking life and limb in the process.  And it’s a good story, one that carried me along without me thinking too much about the technical side of it.

Crouch is a great writer.  I completely believed in Jason and understood just why he loved Daniela (who I kind of fell in love with myself).  He writing is tight and tense, moving the story along at a great pace with not a word spared.  I found it hard to put down and hard to stop thinking about it when I did.  I had had a world created in my mind that I wanted to get back to.

Saying that, it was a world I found a little confusing at the end.  I won’t say why as it’s spoilers but I did find my head spinning a little bit by the endless possibilities Crouch laid out.  That, though, was a small complaint in a book that, overall, I really, really, enjoyed and hope you do too.

Emma x

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About the book…

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.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 26th July, 2016
Source: Library
Genre: Sci-Fi
Number of pages: 401
Rating: 4 out of 5

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16 comments
  1. I have thought about giving this one a try so now that I have seen your review and we both are not huge sci-fi fans I have put it on my library wishlist. 🙂 Curious about the ending even though it confused you…lol.

    1. I hope you enjoy. I think you will…but don’t hate me if you don’t. As for confusing me – it doesn’t take much!

  2. I really enjoyed this one too and I never expected that I would enjoy a science fiction love story!

    1. It is a good read isn’t it? I must admit when I decided to read it I didn’t realise it was sci-fi, I just remembered good reviews. I am glad I didn’t know.

  3. I read this last year or so. I don’t usually “do” SF as much as fantasy, unless it’s a combination, but I was attracted to this one because I watched Wayward Pines on tv and enjoyed it (but didn’t read those books).

    You’re right– readers who don’t normally read SF can get into this one, though it’s a bit confusing. The end seemed sort of a let-down or open ending, in my opinion.

    1. I haven’t watched Wayward Pines but it’s on the list to try to watch. I know what you mean about the ending but I don’t know if it could go any other way. I quite liked the open-ness of it. I could picture this as a TV show or movie.

  4. I think my experience with this book was much the same as yours. I rarely (almost never) read sci-fi, but this was a fun book and I agree that it’s mostly about a man trying to get back to his family. I was meaning to try more books by this author, but have not as yet.

    1. It was fun, you are right. There was a good pace to it and it felt like I would love it as a movie.

  5. I kept eyeing this book when it came out, but realizing it was Sci-Fi turned me away. But after reading your review, I am intrigued again. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Yes, I don’t think you need to be a sci-fi fan to like this one. Definitely worth a go!

  6. Oh my goodness! You reading science fiction, Emma! Thank you for a lovely review – and this sounds like one I should get hold of, too.

    1. I know! I did say I was going to try right? This might be a bit less sci-fi than your reads but it’s a good start!

  7. This isn’t really my kind of thing either, but like you, I’ve seen so many enthusiastic reviews that I’m constantly tempted to try it…

    1. I think it’s worth it. I can see why people raved about it when it came out. It’s not so sci-fi that it overwhelmed me – which isn’t hard!

  8. I’m not much of a SciFi reader but I’ve had this one recommended to me a number of times. I’m glad you enjoyed this one despite the confusing world and it sounds like one I need to add to my TBR.

    1. No, I don’t either but this isn’t what I would consider hard-core. There is just that techy element, the discussion of alternate universes that made my head spin a bit.

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