Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Published by Crown on July 26, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
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“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.

Ever feel like you are just missing the piece that makes everyone love a book? That’s how I feel about Dark Matter. People love it. I thought it was okay, but not outstanding and the ending annoyed me a bit. And, since I had high expectations, just “okay” was really a let down.

At heart, Dark Matter is a love story with a bit of philosophy thrown in. It does make you think about how choices affect who you are, the life you lead, how far you would go to hold onto the life you have, how big the universe(s) can be.

It’s also a thriller, complete with guns and violence and blood. It was fast-paced and a quick read, but I’ve read a lot of thrillers. I’ll grant the twist was interesting, but couldn’t carry the book for me. It was the only part that felt really unique, though.

But I was expecting sci-fi. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, only four in the last year, according to my Goodreads list. The Fold had alternate universes with different versions of the same people, so even that felt recycled. Interestingly enough, it also had a genius who instead of doing BIG THINGS, teaches, like our Jason. Is that a common sci-fi thing? I’m going to assume the science was at least somewhat believable, even if it seemed wonky to me. And there was at least one plot point that seemed impossible, even if we buy into the rest of it.

Then there’s the end. Except I was convinced if I kept tapping my Kindle it would eventually turn to the next page. It didn’t. That was the end. I’m not a fan of that type of ending, the kind where I don’t realize it’s the end. It worked for the story, just not for me. At least it was a happy ending. (Hope that wasn’t a spoiler.)

Several times while I was reading it, I told Amber bits and pieces. When I finished (and complained out loud when I realized no, there was no next page), Amber said something to the effect of “Wow, you didn’t like it at all, did you?” I’m clearly in the minority though.

About Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch has sold over a million books and his work has been translated into more than twenty languages. Known for high-concept fiction with breakneck pacing and groundbreaking genre cross-breeding, six of his books have hit the Kindle Top 10, and two have reached the #1 spot. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Alfred Hitchcock, Ellery Queen, Cemetery Dance, and Thriller 2, edited by Clive Cussler.