Archive | 10:20 AM

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (5/5)

18 Oct

I somehow missed the hype of this book when it came out. I knew it got some good reviews but it was never on my radar. Man, do I regret that. This book blew me away. I’m so glad my book club picked it. I must have missed it due to a class in one book club because they were all shocked I was just getting to it. I’m so glad I’m in two!

Cover image via Goodreads

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Summary from Goodreads:

“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.

At first, I didn’t like this book. I was having flashbacks to The Maze Runner and the frustration I felt when the main character had no idea what was going on and he was getting no answers. But as soon as Jason figured out what was going on, I was in. I finished this book in three days and that’s no easy feat for me now with how busy my life is. I stayed in bed a lot on my days off, napping and reading this book. It blew me away. It was very original and yet it used something familiar enough that I could understand it. I wish I was still reading it. Fair warning, it’s hard to not have spoilers in this review so continue reading at your own risk.

I loved Jason. He was very realistic and yet he was so smart that it was unimaginable. I loved the relationship with him and Daniela. I thought he was really resourceful. Overall, it was really great. The ‘other Jasons’ were fun, too. I wish that had some more screen time.

Daniela was my favorite character. I loved her as a wife and mother and I loved the other versions of her we met. She was creative and fun and still very much the same person. I thought the way she acted at the end was believable and it showed how strong her relationship with Jason was.

While none of the things in this book have happened to me, I understand Jason’s’ dedication to his wife. I love my husband with an odd ferocity and I can understand why he was willing to go to such extreme circumstances to make sure she was safe. I’m not sure I understood the lottery he was willing to set up. I’ll never be in that circumstance so I guess I never have to.

Blake Crouch
Image via Twitter

I liked Amanda and Jason trying to navigate the box best. It was fun to see the strange worlds they ended up in and how the navigated them and got out. It was a fun adventure and it led well to the final adventures of the book. I understand why it was necessary, too, but the fun was the best part.

I didn’t like being kept in the dark for the first 100 pages. I was frustrated and might have put the book down. Crouch’s writing was quick and easy to read, which kept me going forward, but I hate not knowing something critical when the narrator also doesn’t know. It seems like the writer isn’t sure what he’s doing yet but in this case, Crouch had a very good idea!

Jason’s love for Daniela obviously drove the book. If he hadn’t been so driven and dedicated to getting back to Daniela and Charlie, he might have stayed in the other world. Success, riches, and intelligence didn’t mean anything if he didn’t have Daniela and Charlie to share it with. Even successful Jason wanted the happy family.

Writer’s Takeaway: Crouch’s short sentences kept me reading fast. The long chapters and short chapter interchanged kept me guessing. I loved the way he paced this novel, though I wish it had been a little faster earlier on. It was a really fun and quick read, something I haven’t enjoyed in a while.

Really run and enjoyable, Five out of Five Stars

Until next time, write on.

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