Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Publication date: July 26th 2016
Number of pages: 342
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
“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.
I have mixed feelings about this novel. At some points, it had me grasping my iPad and clinging to every word. At other sentences, I could have cared less about the plot and characters. While the reading process was a bit of up and down for me, I enjoyed it all the same.
Jason Dessen is a university professor residing in Chicago with his wife and son. One evening, he gets kidnapped after attending a party for his college buddy, and gets sent into an alternative reality where he is a completely different person. In this new reality, Jason is a genius scientist without a family, and has miraculously invented a drug and a “box” which can transport him and the drug’s users into whatever kind of reality they can imagine.
Only problem is, Jason from this reality is evil (Jason2, as he is called), and Jason does everything he can to thwart himself to get back to the reality where he is from. Some of the realities he jumps into get super freaky, which is where the science fiction element comes in. In some, he has the perfect life. (The novel gets a bit philosophical at these points.)
I’ve come to accept the fact that I didn’t–and probably never will–understand the science that went behind the novel. To me, it seemed the author info-dumped the important technological bits so he could get back to what seemed to be what he perceived as more important. Another aspect that killed the vibe for me was the choppiness of the paragraphs. One page would have a beautiful description of a dystopian Chicago skyline, while the other would be a page dialogue with no attributes.
But in any case, it was a good read. Not super excellent in my opinion, but it did have me itching to get back to it whenever I put the story down.