Dark Matter: Book Review by Dinh
“Are you happy with your life?”
Those are the last words that 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 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.
Synopsis from Kindle Book, copyright July 2016, and published by Crown/Archetype.
I am so happy that I am on a roll in finding great books to read this year. I have to add Dark Matter by Blake Crouch to the list of highly recommend this book to read list.
This is my first book by Crouch, though he has written many books that include Wayward Pines trilogy, for which he is most well known for.
So going in, I didn’t have any expectations except what I had read in the book jacket and that it was good.
When I read the synopsis, especially the part that said “Welcome back, my friend.” I thought of Total Recall, the movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and thought it would be on similar grounds but it’s not anything alike. It stops there.
So why did I love it so much?
Dark Matter was the fastest page turner that I have read recently. Wow, I just kept on reading and turning the pages!
The book was a page turner because most of the 340 pages of the hardcover contained lots of conversation and the plot just kept on moving really fast.
It was an exciting sci-fi thriller that had a clever plot that just kept on snowballing all the way to the end.
I think this book would make an awesome movie! There’s so much action and it’s an exciting plot with romance and a strong protagonist.
Great Story Line
The title of the book Dark Matter, is an intriguing title that makes you wonder what it’s all about.
Crouch is very creative in using the concept of dark matter, an invisible and mysterious substance that the universe is made of, and forming a story line with the concept of multiverse existing at the same time.
Don’t worry, it’s not overly scientific. Everything gets explained in the book in layman’s terms and is kept simple.
In one version of this multiverse, Jason is happily married, has a family, and works as a professor.
In another version of this multiverse, The OTHER Jason becomes a genius and builds a box that opens up the gateway to these multiverses. The OTHER Jason goes into Jason’s life and hijacked his life and sends him to OTHER Jason’s world where he’s the genius.
Trapped in this strange world, Jason has to somehow find his way back to his wife Daniela and his son Charlie.
I liked that the underlying theme of the book is about choices. We all have to make choices in our lives and these choices will have a path that lead to a different outcomes.
In Dark Matter, Jason makes a choice of choosing his wife and having a family and forgoing his career. The OTHER Jason, chose his career and now wants what Jason has.
What didn’t I like?
The story line took a couple of turns that I didn’t like.
Firstly, Amanda, the psychologist helps Jason escape from the world that he doesn’t belong, and Jason forms a relationship with Amanda that verges on almost romantic but then the relationship is just thrown away as she makes a departure from his journey.
I was disappointed that Crouch had killed off the friendship/romance so quickly as I thought that it was going to be THE story line. Amanda played a big part in the book and then she goes off on her own?
Secondly, it got a bit confusing with all the Jasons out there. The switch to the many Jasons was a twist I wasn’t expecting and it got a bit confusing when the concept was introduced. I was prepared with Jason and the OTHER Jason but not all the other versions of Jason.
Thirdly, I found the ending a bit off for my liking. With only one chance to get it right, and to get to utopia (or their ideal world), who did Jason let decide? His son Charlie! Now come on…
Jason was taking a really big risk, especially when he had gone through all this before and had so much trouble finding the right world when he was looking for them, that you’d think he would decide.
It’s your typical hopeful, happy ending!
I like happy endings don’t get me wrong, but let’s not ruin it with a ridiculous thing like giving the kid the power to decide the rest of their lives.
Unless. Wait… Is there going to be a sequel to Dark Matter? That would be interesting!
My Final Thoughts:
This is a fantastic high pace sci-fi thriller that will keep you turning the pages. With a solid and unique plot, this thriller is so good that you’ll probably read it in one sitting!
I loved this book and highly recommend everyone to read it!