Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Published by Broadway Books on May 2nd, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
“We’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.”
I read Recursion last year and instantly fell in love with Blake Crouch’s writing. I’ve owned Dark Matter for awhile now so I knew I had to remove it from my TBR this year!
“Are you happy with your life?” is the last thing Jason Dessen hears before a mysterious masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
When he comes to, he’s living a life he doesn’t know. His wife isn’t his wife. His son was never born. And Jason isn’t 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 answer lies in a journey that’s winding and terrifying more than anything he could’ve imagined.
Wait, what did I just read? That’s how I felt while joining Jason and characters on this wild ride.
And just when I thought I had a handle on where the story was going, Crouch would switch gears and make a sharp left turn.
You won’t be able to put down this book. It’s the definition of “unputdownable.”
It’s firmly a science fiction novel, but it reads more like a thriller. This story starts off with a bang with little background and doesn’t let off the gas pedal once.
I can instantly picture this as a blockbuster action thriller movie. And that’s partly due to Crouch’s writing. It’s very plot driven and read like a script. But that definitely has its downfalls.
If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?
I thought Crouch sacrificed characters and dialogue for this grand adventure. The characters tended to be trite and formulaic. And Crouch was heavy handed with what he wanted the reader to take away. The life lessons almost felt layered on way too thick.
Now let’s get to the heart of the book — the science of parallel universes. The science explanations were actually pretty decent. I didn’t necessarily understand or catch all the theories and jargon, but it’s easy for the reader to get a general idea of what Crouch is trying to accomplish.
As I said in my review for Maybe in Another Life, I love the Sliding Doors concept. Are we ever plagued by the “what ifs”? What about the other paths we never take? What happens to those other versions of ourselves living out separate lives and stories based on each decision we make?
It’s terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches off into a new world.
Crouch managed to take this concept we all know too well and make it unique. Dark Matter is truly a brilliant story that’s sweeping as well as intimate. It’s mind-bending and exciting. I can’t recommend it enough! It’s going to be my go-to for science fiction recommendations.