Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review - Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Book Summary

“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 3 1/2

This was my first Blake Crouch book which I chose after a few reviews intrigued me.  I thought the beginning was great, fast paced and draws you right in. You meet Jason, his wife Daniela and son.  They are living a comfortable happy life.  Choices are made once you have children, not necessarily better or worst but different from the original plan.  Jason leaves home to go congratulate a friend which should only take an hour but in reality it takes a little over a month.

And while the thought of last night carries the emotional weight of a real memory, it has the fantasy lining of a dream, or a nightmare. Kindle 21%

The sci-fi wasn't a turn off for me but the similarities once Jason woke and tried to find his real home became tedious to read, recurring over and over with little changes. I am not a fan of time travel novels so maybe this was similar to that for me - Groundhog feel.  I do think the reality of a different life and the scientific plan is incredible but it just felt repetitive.  This lost the intensity for me and by mid way I just wanted to find out what happens.

I enjoyed the idea of original Jason choosing his career versus family man Jason and debating who has the better life.  Life is all about decisions and consequences and both were great choices.  What threw me for a loop and felt a little weird were the numerous Jason's.  I won't go into this further.

If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me, me? Kindle 64%

I thought I appreciated every moment, but sitting here in the cold, I know I took it all for granted.  And how could I not?  Until everything topples, we have no idea what we actually have, how precariously and perfectly it all hangs together. Kindle 67%

I did enjoy some of the questions that arose, it had you take the time to sit back and reflect.

There was nothing drastic about the ending, it just was.  I understand choosing that way but I would have liked to hear more from Jason that stole 'his' life back.  It almost had a happily ever after feel which doesn't mix with the story line unless they are allowing the reader to makeup the 'what is next'.

"Every moment, every breath, contains a choice.  But life is imperfect.  We make the wrong choices.  So we end up living in a state of perpetual egret, and is there anything worse?  Kindle 95%

I enjoyed Blake Crouch writing style and at times he slides in what I consider to be a novel in verse, creative.


  1. I've only read one Blake Crouch book but I enjoyed it. I'd be willing to try this one but I'm not a fan of the "Groundhog Day" repeat thing.

  2. I was intrigued by this one until I read about the sci-fi aspect. I don't think it's for me.

  3. I catch your drift. There was some repetition. Overall, I dug this book. Great review!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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  4. I'm really not into sci-fi and time travel in particular is a turn off - I think I'm the only person on the planet who hated The Time Traveller's wife! Great review!

    1. Cleo, I tried many times, the most I have with a book and still couldn't complete The Time Traveller's wife, so you are NOT alone :-)

  5. Part of me is intrigued by this title, and the other part feels like I just want to pass it over. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :-)

  6. Oh you make me want to read this one despite your misgivings. I have heard about all the hype too and the premise is certainly fascinating. I will keep the repetitions in mind if I choose to read it.

  7. Again, it's funny how differently we feel about certain books! I LOVED this one, even though I'm not generally a time travel fan either. It kept me totally engrossed and always guessing. I also found it surprisingly touching.

    If you like Crouch's writing, you might try his PINES series. The books are short and very fast-paced. They're very engrossing. Lots of twists and turns.


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