Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

DarkMatter_cover

What about those other paths that your life could have taken? Imagine the other yous in the multiverse: some happily married, some world-famous professionals, and a multitude of other possibilities. In Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, Chicago physicist Jason Dessen finds himself fighting for his life – not just a life, but the right one – when a newly-invented machine allows you to experience the other lives you could have had.

The plot was resemblant of other stories in which a man or woman wake up to find they are in a life that’s not their own (Family Man, Comfort and Joy, Family for Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life – why is it these questions of how my life got here always pop up at Christmas?), but what makes Dark Matter different is that it’s not a wish, Santa Claus, or an angel that enables this ability to see what might have happened, but Jason himself. Read it and you’ll see!

This book is a fast, intense read. Crouch’s writing is experiential, gritty, and minimalist; he gives you just enough to see the scene and feel Jason’s pain.It’s the kind of book that could easily make the jump to a gripping, sci fi movie. Crouch’s characters are smart and unpredictable. I especially appreciated the voices of Jason’s wife and friends as they try to understand and aid Jason in these nightmarish scenarios. The story is all fiction with a thin layer of science frosting on top, but it’s enjoyable and resonates with everyone who has wondered about going back to pivotal moments in your life to see what might have happened. (That’s everyone, right?)

For me, Dark Matter raised the questions of what it means to be you. If our identity shifts with every choice we make and experience we have, then what is really at our core? Jason’s abiding love for his wife and willingness to sacrifice her were absolute; what are our own stubborn, life-defying qualities?

The book has some strong language in it as well as sexual scenes; I’d recommend this exciting read to mature teenagers and adults who enjoy action-oriented science fiction.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. I didn’t have to post a positive review, though. I did so because this book is great! You should read it. Seriously though, you should.