Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Shame on me but I’d never heard of Blake Crouch until I saw this book being promoted at Book Expo this year. I like speculative fiction (Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors) but I don’t typically read too many books that fall into the genre. I went into this book knowing little to nothing about it and here’s what I thought…
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Release date: July 26, 2016
Reviewed by Jen
Rating: 4 stars
Find it/buy it here: Dark Matter
Dark Matter is a book that is virtually impossible to review adequately without giving away major plot twists. I think part of the fun of reading this book is approaching it with very little information about the plot. As such, I will refrain from giving you a detailed summary of the book’s plot.
The premise of the novel is this…
Protagonist, Jason Dessen is a happily married professor of physics who lives with his wife and teenage son. One night when going out to celebrate the academic achievements of his best friend and colleague, he is abducted and knocked unconscious. When he regains consciousness he finds himself in a strange laboratory, awakening to a life that he doesn’t recall. His wife is no longer his wife, his son was never born, and he is no longer a college professor, but the individuals in the laboratory seem to recognize him and call him their colleague and friend.
The book takes us on a strange journey as Jason struggles to come to terms with what has happened to him. Is he in a dream world or are his memories of this “other life” an illusion or part of a psychosis? The plot is action-packed, full of twists and turns, and will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. It’s no literary masterpiece but it is thoroughly entertaining in an adrenaline-filled way and raises some interesting philosophical questions about what we need in life to make us happy and the lengths we would go to gain those things. I found it hard to put down.
When I finished the book I was struck by how it read like a screenplay and would make a good movie. In fact I wondered if the author had written the book with the ultimate goal of turning it into a movie. Then I researched more about Blake Crouch and found that he is indeed a screenwriter and there are movie rights attached to the book. Like I said, shame on me for never having heard of him. He’s a best selling author and screen writer. Those of you who are familiar with his work are aware that his books are known for being mind-bending thrillers. This book is no exception. It was intense, entertaining, and thought-provoking too.
The central premise of the book isn’t particularly novel. I can think of lots of books that tackle the issue of what people would do if they could change things (I’m being as vague as possible). It’s the way in which Crouch approaches this central question that is new and interesting. He uses a principle in physics to explain part of what is going on.
Dark Matter is a blend of genres. It is part science-fiction, part-speculative fiction, part thriller, and part love story. Love is a core piece of the book but it’s not your typical sappy romantic love interest sort of plot line (and thus the reason why I liked it) and it feels utterly satisfying.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy speculative fiction and action-packed stories that also make you think.
If you’d like to check it out, you can find your copy here: Dark Matter.
We want to hear from you. Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any of his other books?