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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – A Nail Biting Race Through Parallel Realities

20th September, 2016

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

A man is plucked away from the life that he has lived so far and is transported to another parallel reality where he might be happier. Does he want to stay or leave? And can he do that?

In Brief :

When I received a package that read “There is a version of you that will open this and a version of you that won’t” I immediately cut it open (as any genuine reader would do) and into my lap fell this beauty of a book.

How often have we gone off wandering in day dreams with “what if” beginnings? Every human thinks how different his/her life would have been if one had chosen different options in the past. And that is what makes this book so compelling.

Imagine you have an ordinary, not perfect, but happy life. You have a wife you are in love with and a child. You are on your way back home after congratulating a friend for winning the Pavia prize. On the way back you encounter a masked man who asks you “Are you happy with your life?” You go dizzy as if drugged and when you open your eyes again a man whom you have never seen before, smiles at you, stretches out his hand and says “Welcome back”.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Sounds confusing? This is exactly what happens to Jason Dessen. He is whisked away into another world where his ‘life’ does not exist in the way he knows it, but in another alternate reality where had he made certain different choices in life, he might have ended in. Then follows a mad race to get back to his original version of life with the realization that he has no clue where to begin. Here are a few highlights :

1.You would love this if…

Anyone who loves a good story can pick this read. In terms of movies, Dark Matter can be defined as the baby Inception and The Matrix would have together with some genes from The Prestige. If you dream of alternate realities, you would love this book. If you have enjoyed Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken, you would love this read.

2.The pacing

The story is fast paced and Crouch manages to have the reader hanging in suspense on every page.

3.The concept of multiverse

I love the concept of parallel realities happening around you – that there are other versions of you that have accomplished things you haven’t, not made the mistakes you have committed and perhaps even made new mistakes that you would never dream of committing.

4.Emotional tear-jerker

I would call Dark Matter less of a sci-fic read and more of an emotional read. Another book that has similar vibes (in a less of sci-fic and more of emotional way) is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.

My eyes filled with tears at several instances when Jason got stuck in different lives. Some lives felt appealing, some disastrous and what was astonishing was how the different the different versions of Jason who lived in each of these realities are.

5.Feeling as helpless as Jason

I love the format of the story. The reader feels he/she is in the same mess as Jason. We make mistakes together and we try to solve the riddle together. This is another factor that makes it an emotional read.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

If there is one thing I would wish it would be for the ending to be more dramatic. But this is only because the novel keeps up the suspense and brilliant writing throughout. I am happy with the ending. But maybe I wanted more of the story because it was so good.

Final Verdict :

I loved the read. It is fast, it is brilliant and the story sucks you in right from the first chapter. The idea of the book might not be presented for the first time in this book, but the execution is definitely worth a read. I would totally recommend this book. If you are still no convinced, go ahead and read the first chapter here- Read It Forward (Dark Matter)

Disclaimer : Much thanks to Crown Publishing for a copy of this amazing book. All opinions are my own.

Title : Dark Matter
Author : Blake Crouch
Publisher : Crown
Published : 2016
Language : English
Pages : 392
Rating : 4.5/5

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Have you read Dark Matter? Do you enjoy stories in multiple universes? 

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Dark Matter

About the Author

Blake crouch is an American author best known for the Wayword Pines series. In 2013, his novel Pines was nominated for ITW’s Best Paperback Original Thriller Award, and his Wayward Pines series has been made into a TV series which is currently airing on Fox International Channels, directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Dark Matter is his latest novel.

This Post Has 40 Comments
  1. Wow, a combination of The Prestige, Matrix, and Inception? That’s quite an accomplishment — some of my favorite movies! You read such a diverse array of books, I am always curious to see what country/genre/style of book you’ll read next. Although this book is science fiction, I think the idea of alternate lives or universes is something that we all spend our time wondering about — the what-if’s that keep us up at night. Great review! I’ve seen this book all over the Internet, so I’ll definitely be checking it out.

    1. Thank you Jessica. You make me blush. I am a person who gets bored easily, so if I stick to one country or genre I lose interest. Glad you liked the review. I am sure you would love the book. It has glimpses of the three movies too.

  2. Thank you for the review, Resh 🙂 As always, I am intrigued after reading your review, and will add this to my Wish List! I also daydream sometimes “what if” and while it can be a dangerous game to play, sometimes it can also make you thankful for the choices you didn’t/did make!

  3. I LOVE stories that ask the ‘what if’ question. I’ve seen lots of other people reading this, but I hadn’t realised that’s what it was about, so I’m glad I read your review. I’ll definitely be checking it out now 🙂

  4. I’m convinced. I’m definitely convinced. *reached into pic and grabs book* it sounds exactly like the kind of book I’m looking for right now. Great review Resh. Too bad about the ending though.

  5. Okay, I was already interested in reading this book but now you have me bumping it up higher on my to-read list. I really like your assessment of it as being more emotional than science fiction. Great review!

  6. This sounds like a book I would really enjoy! Thank you for the review and sharing your thoughts. That question on the package is very intriguing! I wonder if there really is a parallel me that would not open a package that said that…

  7. I would LOVE this book. I’ve always found the multiverse theory fascinating, so much so that I’ve seen many documentaries and read a couple of books about it. Hah, but never a novel!! This one is most definitely going on my TBR.

  8. I seen this one the other day Resh and was going to pick it up for my husband, now I’m wishing I did for myself. It sounds incredible. It reminds me a little of Sliding Doors, how our choices really do define us. Might pop out and pick up a copy tomorrow. Brilliant review Resh, really enjoyed it <3

  9. Wow, this sounds really interesting! Loved your review – you had me hooked with the description of the package, of how there’s a version of us which will open, and another which won’t – super great hook! 😀 Definitely am interested in reading this book now – thank you, Resh! 🙂

  10. Yes I am so glad you could read this one and loved it so much! Yay! I have definitely thought about the what if kind of thing more and more often, so I am looking forward to reading this and just seeing the meaning behind it and how the novel develops it. The fast pace also sounds appealing because it means the novel never gets boring!

  11. I love fun book marketing ideas like that package! How fun. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this one, so hopefully it’ll eventually make it to the top of my to-read pile 🙂

  12. Ooh! This sounds exactly like the kind of book I will enjoy. Somehow I kept thinking I wouldn’t like it…but your review changed my mind. Thanks 🙂

  13. I skimmed a little through this review because I heard that Dark Matter is best read without knowing anything about it! However, I did glimpse that you compared it Small Angry Planet aka my favourite ever so I must have this in my hands ASAP! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  14. I’ve heard sooo many good things about this one I really really want to try it!! *flails* I don’t even read a lot of adult books, but this one I’ll make an exception for. Plus you compared it to THE PRESTIGE!! ONLY tHE BEST MOVIE EVER!!

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