Friday, September 16, 2016

REVIEW: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Publisher: Crown (PenguinRandom House)
Release Date: August 2/2016
Acquired: Print copy sent by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

“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.


It's emotionally painful to have to hold back with this review. There are so many things that I would like to scream at the top of my little lungs about. Good things. Only the good screaming. Dark Matter was a parasite, and I am yet to get it's eggs out of my brain, yet to wrap my head around the science that still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but blew my mind all the same.

Research "Shrodinger's Cat" before you crack this one open, it won't make the technical bits a lot easier to understand, but the basic comparisons are easy to grasp. Needless to say, the "how" mattered very little in this novel of "what-ifs?". Jason Dessen leaves his home on a regular Thursday night to visit a friend, and ends up on a detour to beat ALL detours: a completely new life. Jason is still Jason, but nothing in his life bears resemblance to the one he left mere minutes before. The woman he loves never became his wife, their son was never created from that union, and the mediocre professor job he settled for is now a full-blown, award-winning position as an atomic physicist. 

What he must do, should he decide that the life he was living was just fine, and he wants it back, thank you very much, is nothing short of spectacular and gut-wrenchingly frustrating. As you inch closer to an ending, Dark Matter becomes less and less about Jason's journey, and more about your own. What if you bought that green dress after all? Is there a you in another world looking FANTASTIC in green, and attending that 20th highschool reunion that it was meant for? Did that other you then bump into your DIEHARD crush from grade 10 and end up marrying him and popping out a football team!?! IS THIS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?! You'll never know. But this book will open your mind to a trillion different possibilities, and it will also break your heart into unimaginably tiny pieces. You will hurt for yourself, you will hurt for Jason, and I can guarantee that you will come out of this novel with a new found perspective on regret. Your own regrets, the regrets that are confessed to you by your peers, every single day. Moving forward, I intend on handing the title of this novel to each and every confessor.

That's all I'm allowed to say. Saying anything else will let you in on SECRETS! and it would be a shame if you found out what they were from me, or anyone else. Be a part of this! Go pick up this book up! I'll wait here....

Recommended for Fans of: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumiere.



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.

In 2013, his novel Pines was nominated for ITW's Best Paperback Original Thriller Award, and his Wayward Pines series has been made into a TV series which is currently airing on Fox International Channels, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Matt Dillon, Juliette Lewis, Melissa Leo and Terrence Howard. He has been featured in Time Magazine, the L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Entertainment Weekly. Blake lives in Colorado.



A huge thank-you to Crown Publishing for providing a print copy of this book for review.


  1. I agree with you about the necessity of not saying too much and spoiling others' enjoyment. Most book reviews do that. I read this, too, and was as impressed with it as you are.

    My favorite books are those that I don’t want to put down, that keep me up at night, and DARK MATTER sure is that. And I'm not normally a science fiction fan.

    DARK MATTER is Stephen Kingish. Some of his books do not have monsters or clowns but are about normal people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. DARK MATTER is like those.

    Now I want to read the author's WAYWARD PINES trilogy.

    1. Thank you so much! I agree, I HATE when people find it necessary to spoil the plot in their reviews. Great comparison, DARK MATTER is definitely in the same vein as King. I also want to read Crouch's WAYWARD PINES series. I will be picking it up very soon :).

  2. Hi Reeka, long-time fan here, first-time poster.

    I'm a big fan of your reviews, so when you told me to pick this one up, that's just what I did.

    That was roughly 21 hours ago. I have now finished reading DARK MATTER and I must say, I have a bit of a bone to pick with you.

    You KNEW Crouch's scintillating readability would keep me up way past my bedtime. Yet you said nothing.

    On a more serious note, I found out I enjoy pop-quantum mechanics fiction by watching Interstellar. Takes a real talent to render stuff like this accessible to the everyday reader. I'm no atomic physicist, yet I found the author's explanation of the simultaneous existence and non-existence of Schrodinger's Cat quite graspable.

    Thanks for suggestion, and for the spot-on, funny review!


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