Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

by - 9:07:00 PM

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crocuh
Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Thriller
Release Date: 26 July 2016

From Goodreads: "“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."

Thank you to Crown Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for review!

Blake Crouch has crafted a book like no other with Dark Matter. As a blurb by Joseph Finder on the back of the book states, this is the kind of book the word thriller was coined for. When I first began the journey of reading Dark Matter, I had no idea what rabbit hole I was going down. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was over 100 pages in on my first sitting with this book, and I wasn't ready to stop. Once you sit down and read this book, you won't want to put it down. This book has everything you could ask for in a science fiction/thriller novel and then some.

It's hard to know where to begin with this book, as there are an infinite number of starting points that I could choose.

"We all live day to day completely oblivious to the fact that we're a part of a much larger and stranger reality than we can possibly imagine."

We begin our journey with Jason Dessen, a college professor who married an artist named Daniela and had a son named Charlie. Jason is seemingly happy in his life, but he's questioned "what if" now and again. What if he had taken a different path in life? Where would he have ended up? When he gets kidnapped on the way home one night, his masked abductor asks him a simple question before drugging him and knocking him out: "Are you happy with your life?" Once Jason comes to, he is surrounded by people he doesn't know and a man who says, "Welcome back, my friend." He realizes that he has woken up in a world that is not his own, with no wife and no son, where he is a scientific genius who has created the impossible. The question is: Is this life real, or a dream? The paths to his discovery are infinite, and the journey to answer the question is unforgettable.

This entire book is basically a science lovers dream come true. As a science nerd myself, I was absolutely dying over all of the intricate scientific details wound throughout this book. It's difficult to say more without spoiling anything, but just trust when I say that if you love books with science woven in to the plot line, then Dark Matter is the book for you. The theories presented actually had me thinking and wondering if any of this was actually possible in the world we live in today. Could we make a scientific breakthrough as monumental as the one Jason made? If so, it would change the course of human history as we know it. Again, spoilers, but it's really amazing the amount of detail that this book goes into in regards to the scientific aspect.

Let's get to something non-spoilery, shall we? Jason Dessen, our main character. We follow his journey to the truth through all 352 pages and boy, does he take us on a ride. All Jason wants is to get back home, to his home, and his absolute dedication to returning to his loved ones was incredible. No matter how deadly, brutal, painful, or terrifying the obstacle was, Jason overcame each one in the hopes that he would be able to learn the truth and see his wife and child again. Because he's a scientist, he approached each situation he was presented with as if it was a scientific problem he had to solve. He broke it all down in stages, from most detailed to most simplified, and started at the most simplified problem he could deduce. Jason was incredibly smart, and so incredibly passionate about not being deterred from his end goal. Throughout the book, he is present with some pretty intense situations, and while he's not made of stone and does break down once or twice, he's able to learn from each experience and brings himself one step closer to his goal each time. He was such an interesting character to follow and without a doubt one of my favourite characters in any book I've read.

Not only was the main character amazing, but so was the writing. Blake Crouch has a way of painting a masterpiece with his words. His descriptive, beautiful writing allows you to almost insert yourself in the story alongside Jason and follow him as he tries to find his home. The only word I can think to use to describe his writing is magical. I found myself able to fully immerse myself into the world of Dark Matter and emotionally attach myself to Jason as well as the settings. With each page, I could paint a clear picture in my mind of where the characters were, what things looked like, and even how things felt at the time. In times of intensity, I was on the edge of my seat flipping pages like a crazy person. In times of distress, I found myself wanting to help console Jason and was so upset for him at some points that I felt like crying for him. By the end of the book, I really felt like I had gone on the journey with Jason, and felt a sense of relief as I read the final page. My feelings for this book are so intense and I cannot wait to go back and read it again.

Dark Matter is an adventure that everyone should go on at least once in their life. It has action, suspense, a bit of romance here and there, and some pretty awesome science mixed in to make one beautiful piece of work. It will suck you in from the very first page, and won't let go until you've read the very last word. If any of this interests you, then be sure to pick up Dark Matter on July 26th, 2016!

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