Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

My Thoughts

A brilliant mix of science and suspense,
this intensely riveting thriller is impossible to put down.

5stars

Synopsis

dark matter“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 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.

My Review

“Are you happy with your life?”

Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter explores the what if to this question with a riveting, tautly written thriller.

What if you could go back and make different choices?

What if you chose to pursue your life’s dreams instead of settling down?

What if someone took your life and threw you into one that isn’t your own?

What if the life you had, the one you thought you’d settled for, turns out to be everything you’ve wanted and you can’t seem to get it back?

In what seemed like a moment, quantum physicist Jason Dessen was thrust into a world that isn’t his own. After being abducted, beaten, a needle plunged into him, he awakens to a life without a wife, without his son, and with everything he hoped to accomplish professionally.

“This is not my world.”

In this new life, he’s hailed as a scientific genius who’s accomplished the impossible. It all seems so real. Questions plague him as his sanity fractures with every realization of his unimaginable predicament.

“I am not allowed to think I’m crazy. I am only allowed to solve this problem.”

So he runs. And the people who were supposed to be his friends run after him, relentlessly and ruthlessly, spilling blood along the way. Jason must find a way back to his family, but to do so, he must outsmart them, outsmart himself, and find the one way out from an infinite number of possible outcomes.

The task proves daunting and deadly, however, as Jason inadvertently opens the door to terrifying things from which he may not be able to escape.

“I feel insanity stalking me again, threatening to curl me up fetal and shatter me into a million pieces.”

Crouch explores the quantum physics thought experiment of Schrödinger’s cat—the possibility of the multiverse—through a well-plotted narrative that is suspenseful and exciting, poignant and introspective. It’s a riveting exploration of the road not taken that felt intimate and relatable. Admittedly, I’ve been fascinated with particle physics for some time, so the geek in me reveled in the science of the book, however, the book goes beyond that and delivers a story that a wide range of readers will enjoy. It’s been one of my favorite summer thrillers and a must-read for suspense junkies like me.

“What if our worldline is just one of an infinite number of worldlines, some only slightly altered from the life we know, others drastically different?”

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

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