Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch is an electrifying and mind-bending science fiction thriller. From the first page to the last, Crouch takes readers on a thrilling roller coaster ride through the multiverse, filled with suspense, philosophical musings, and heart-stopping moments.
The story revolves around Jason Dessen, a brilliant physicist who finds himself caught in a nightmarish world of parallel universes after a mysterious abduction. As he desperately seeks to find his way back to his own reality, he embarks on a journey that challenges everything he knows about himself, his life, and the choices he’s made.
What makes Dark Matter really fun is Crouch’s ability to blend complex scientific concepts with deeply human emotions. The exploration of quantum mechanics and the multiverse theory is fascinating, and Crouch presents these ideas in a way that is accessible to casual readers without compromising their complexity. (I’ve read Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking, but all anyone really needs to follow the plot is a basic understanding they could probably get from watching The Big Bang Theory.) The scientific backdrop is not just a tool for plot development but an integral part of the story, driving the narrative forward and raising profound philosophical questions about identity, free will, and the paths we take in life.
Crouch’s writing is gripping and fast-paced, with short chapters that keep you turning the pages. The narrative is infused with a sense of urgency and an ever-present tension that keeps you on edge, as Jason’s desperate quest becomes increasingly perilous. The plot twists and turns with unpredictable outcomes, leaving you guessing and constantly reevaluating what you think you know. Personally, I would have appreciated a bit of a slower pace at times. There are moments where an awful lot happens in a very short space of narrative time, or where we jump rapidly through dozens of multiverses. That said, this is a thriller novel, and the fast pace is important to building tension and intrigue.
Beyond its thrilling plot, Dark Matter also delves into the depths of human emotions. Jason’s love for his wife and son is palpable, and as he encounters different versions of the people he holds dear, the novel explores the nature of relationships, regret, and the sacrifices we make for those we love. The characters are well-developed and relatable, adding an emotional weight to the story that resonates long after the final page. The questions being asked are unique, took, despite the themes being old as time. What would we do for love? Would we kill ourselves for love? Would we kill ourselves hundreds of times?
Blake Crouch has created a piece of speculative fiction that lingers in the mind and challenges conventional notions of reality. Dark Matter is gripping and thought-provoking, and I think it will captivate both science fiction enthusiasts and general readers alike. Crouch’s storytelling prowess is aided by his ability to blend science, philosophy, and heart-pounding suspense into an unforgettable reading experience.
Dark Matter is the third book I’ve read from my Friends Recommending Reads list. It was recommended by Darlene O.
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Wonderful! I started by Crouch’s last novel, Upgrade, which I found excellent. Your title is on my TBR.
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I’ll have to read this one; your description reminds me of Dexter Palmer’s novel Version Control, which I loved.
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