Book: Dark Matter

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: suspense, sci-fi, thriller
Publisher: Crown
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Date: July 26, 2016

Jason Dessen is brilliant. With his mind, he could have been one of the foremost scientists in the world – easily. But he decided to focus on his family instead. His relationship with his life is key to keeping him grounded. And his son is a light every day. Even when things get a little boring, the simple things bring him pleasure. Making dinner. Spending time. It’s all good.

And then one night he goes out for a drink. No biggie. Jason merely wanted to celebrate a friend’s accomplishments. But on the way home, he is knocked unconscious by a masked stranger. The last words he hears astonish him.

“Are you happy with your life?”

When he wakes up, Jason’s life is not his own. Or rather, it belongs to a different Jason. Another version of him that didn’t spend his time devoted to family. In this world, he’s a renowned scientist on the cutting edge of scientific discoveries that promise to change humanity.

Is this real? Is it a dream? How can he escape? What is happening?

Dark Matter exemplifies one of the things that I love about science fiction. Endless possibility. There’s so much potential in the world. Is there another me somewhere? Maybe one that fulfills some of my college dreams. Where would I be had I made some different choices in my life? (I loved the movie Sliding Doors. One of my favorites!)

Blake Crouch takes these questions, injects some terror, horror and some breakneck twists in plot that you won’t see coming. I would love to tell you more about how things roll out, twist and turn, but I’m not sure how much would be considered spoilers. (That’s dangerous territory to navigate in science fiction!) This book unfolds again and again and again as you read. It takes you to new worlds that are achingly similar to Jason’s own world but drastically different. Every word of this book is packed with not only a fight for survival but a deadly battle for happiness.

There were moments when I felt like the story got bogged down a little bit in the science and potential. I mean it has to be tough to explore endless potential and possibilities in a story. I can see how easily that would happen. But it didn’t bog down enough to take me out of the adventure. I still wanted to know what would happen next.

Do you like Doctor Who? Twelve Monkeys? Give this one a try. You’ll love this summer read.

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