By: Blake Crouch
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase
“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.
From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, 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.
Since hitting mass market paperback format, this book has sort of been following me around whenever I’m at the bookstore, lol. I had heard of it since it was first released but it was only more recently that it was finding its way further up the wishlist. As I was looking for a book to read when I went on holiday a few months ago I decided this would make for a good read. Unfortunately I didn’t get much reading doing during my vacation (opting to either be writing or sleeping when I wasn’t taking photos and wandering about) so I only got around to really reading this book when I got back.
I always liked stories a la Sliding Doors about paths not taken, lives not led, alternate universes and the possibilities (and the science) behind it. So of course I would be interested in reading this. The science about the multiverses was interesting to read about and how it was accessed was different from other stories I’ve encountered so that was pretty cool. And it really touches on how every decision does branch out to how many different possibilities and reactions, which can make things really complicated but I appreciated that that element of multiverses was touched on. On that premise alone, that of the different possibilities and versions that our world could go through, can be really scary at times; I actually got chills at times reading about some of these worlds or about the other Jasons out there.
The story itself was interesting, following Jason as he figures out what’s going on and how to get back to his family. Much as he’s offered a different life in which he was successful and worked to the fullest of his potential, he wants his life back, he wants his family back. It’s a story of how much one would go through, what one would do, to get back to the people he loves. Admittedly I think this would work better on-screen–which I heard it is indeed being adapted as a movie, I believe–as the pacing is pretty quick and at times the writing felt like it was missing something. It was hard to pinpoint exactly what it was that felt lacking but nonetheless I was invested in our Jason’s quest to reunite with his family again.
Overall Dark Matter was a good read, and had I read more during my holiday I would say it was a good vacation read. It’s fast-paced and imaginative, and I can’t wait to see how it’s adapted to the big screen.