by Blake Crouch
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
“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.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch is an addictive science fiction thriller perfect for fans of the TV show Fringe. Non-stop action, reality bending with an engaging protagonist Dark Matter delivered an intense, entertaining and addictive ride.
Blake Crouch is the author of the Wayward Pines trilogy, which recently gained attention when adapted as a television series by FOX. I had the pleasure of meeting Crouch at BEA and was delighted to bring home signed copies of both Wayward Pines and Dark Matter.
Based on Wayward Pine, I knew Dark Matter was going to offer up a twisted thriller. Crouch exceeded my expectations. Imagine being abducted and awakening only to discover you are in an alternate world. Dark Matter explores the path not taken. As the synopsis suggests it was both wondrous and horrifying. Crouch will have you reflecting on your own paths and wondering what is beyond our world.
Our protagonist is Jason Dessen. Crouch hooks readers from the first chapter as he introduces us to Jason, his wife and teenage son. We learn a little about Jason’s life and the path not taken as a former classmate receives an award. Jason steps out that evening to congratulate said friend and awakens to a nightmare. Come tag along as Jason works to find his way home.
Jason Dessen was the perfect protagonist for this tale. I imagined Jason as David Tennant and my mind delivered the tale in his Scottish brogue. Jason’s personality was the perfect combination of logic and heart. His mannerisms reminded me of those of the Tenth Doctor. He was genuine and I quickly found myself rooting for him.
The world building was vivid, horrifying and totally fed my inner nerd leaving it well sated. Crouch skillfully shares A complex tale with an ebb and flow that allows the reader to immerse themselves in this world. He made the impossible seem possible creating a believability. It will have you questioning scientific advancement and if some doors are best left closed. We are not subject to pages of jargon, instead it is seamless woven into the tale and delivered in the simplest of terms giving readers a firm understanding of events and theories behind Dark Matter.
I found myself holding my breath, pondering choices and suffering the emotions of our protagonist. The worlds we encountered were fascinating, some even terrifying. Dark Matter delivered an intense, action-packed, thought-provoking read that left satisfied and asking what if.
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