Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

IMG_2376“No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting. No time to flinch or brace.”

Jason Dessen is abducted from the life he knows. After an attack, he wakes up to a world that is not his own, where the facts of this newfound reality are very different from what he had come to know. He is not married to the woman he once called his wife, his son was never born, and instead of a job as a college professor he is instead a celebrated physicist. It is the life he had sometimes wondered about, the one in which he had made a different choice, where career had come before family. Jason struggles to come to terms with this new reality, while trying to figure out what is happening and how he can possibly find his way back home.

Dark Matter is an intriguing science-fiction thriller that explores some interesting concepts, any of which I mention would be hovering around spoiler territory so I will proceed with caution. The story is suspenseful from the start as we are introduced to Jason, his family, and his life, along with his thoughts and feelings on the road not taken. It is very action based and at times has the feel of an action movie screenplay. While it certainly provides a thrilling ride, the constant action does take over the novel to the point where the characters, apart from Jason, feel very one-dimensional. There is an obvious message the author is trying to convey and by the end of the novel it comes across as rather heavy-handed. However, if you are looking for an action-packed thriller based around interesting scientific theory, Dark Matter is a great option.

*ARC provided by NetGalley. Publication date: July 26, 2016.

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