Published by Crown/Archetype on July 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Technological, Suspense, Science Fiction, General
Buy on Amazon
A mindbending, relentlessly surprising thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy
-“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. 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.
I chose this book because it has so many good reviews on Goodreads [23K+ ratings and 4K+ reviews]. I just needed to know what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed. This is the first Blake Crouch novel I’ve read but I did watch Wayward Pines, if you recall, and loved it.
The synopsis for this novel is very attractive. A man who doesn’t know which version of his life is real – this one, or the one he remembers. It reminded me of a show that NBC had for one season but never continued. It was about a man who lives 2 lives. At some point his wife and son were in an accident. In one life, his wife survived, and in the other his son did. I was eager to know which one of these lives were real but never solved the mystery.
This story has a mid-novel plot twist and an end-novel plot twist. The first plot twist was a bit obvious to me since I am knowledgeable about the subject. Of course, I don’t want to give spoilers but if you’re really dying to know View Spoiler » it involves a multiverse « Hide Spoiler. The second plot twist totally blind-sided me and it confused the crap out of me like View Spoiler » Which Jason Dessen is the real one?? « Hide Spoiler.
What I loved the most about the story is the level of thought provocation it invokes. It changes your definition of what reality is. Like for you, reality is one thing but for another person it’s something else. Does that mean that one is more real than the other? Is your reality more real that someone else’s?
In fact, I don’t even know View Spoiler » if our lead character is the real one but he’s certainly the one we’re riding with « Hide Spoiler. I mean View Spoiler »basically, all of them would be able to tell us a version of this story from their point of view, that makes it seem real. And in the end it really isn’t fair how the story ends, but there is just no better way for it to end. « Hide Spoiler
Another thing I enjoyed about the story is that the author avoided some lame clichés. As Jason was running out of opinions View Spoiler » a.k.a ampoules « Hide Spoiler, I was thinking don’t let it miraculously work on the last try. So there’s a spoiler for you that you’re allowed to read. I think it doesn’t really spoil the story but makes you appreciate the author even more.
This was a great quick read. I finished it in 4 days of active reading, for like an hour or so at night. It was so engrossing that I finished 1/3 of the book in one sitting.
I bet you’re wondering why I only gave this 4 stars if I really enjoyed it. I did but it didn’t WOW me as much as I expected. It didn’t blow me away. But I really enjoyed it.
I’m definitely excited about reading more from Blake Crouch. I love his avoidance of clichés and more unique plot ideas.