Year Published : 2016
Genre : Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, General Fiction
Mood : Versatile, ultra high tension during thriller portions.
Edition : Kindle eBook
# of Pages : 342 pages
Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters.
It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin to fathom—what would anyone want with an ordinary physics professor?—and grows even more terrifying from there, as Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness.
When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab, strapped to a gurney—and a man he’s never seen before is cheerily telling him “welcome back!”
Jason soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.
And someone is hunting him
This book went flying beyond my already good expectations, and pretty much cemented Blake Crouch’s other work as worth pursuing. Also has me on a mission to find more similarly high quality suspense/thriller/sci-fi fusion novels. The writing is deeply immersive- I started reading this when I was in a drowsy state, barely able to concentrate, and the writing pulled me in quickly. This would be a great choice for anyone who is in a reading slump.
The suspense portion is vivid and effectively front-loaded. Then the more sci-fi elements take center stage around the halfway mark. There’s also a great sense of adventure and unpredictability at this point. I have very little experience or knowledge of sci-fi and can confirm that those aspects, even at wordier sections, were quite approachable.
One other thing I want to mention- I’d been reading three other books alongside this one, all three centered romance in some way.
In terms of conveying a love story between two people, the sub-plot between the lead character Jason and his wife here in Dark Matter was by far and away the most endearing of everything I’d been reading at the time. Keep in mind by no means is Dark Matter even partly a romance, I just thought that was an amusing coincidence. Long story short, everything this book tries to do, it does well. Multi-faceted despite being on the short side. Quite briskly paced.
Overall, I enjoyed this experience but by far and away the thriller/suspense focus of those earlier chapters left the greatest impact. Not sure which is going to be my next Crouch book but one that focuses more singularly on the thriller genre could be an all-time fave.
Overall Rating – 10/10
Why You Should Try It – This book tries to do it all, and succeeds. The thriller portions are great. The sci-fi elements seem well-reasoned, a sense of unpredictable adventure permeates the middle point, and there’s even an effective love story. This is just a great all-rounder with a lot to offer and one of the best things I’ve read this year.
Critique – So, the climax and ending. I want this to be a spoiler-free review so I’ll just say that I thought it could have been wrapped up in a tidier, less chaotic way.Dark Matter: A Novel (Click To Read A Sample on Amazon)