Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Review

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Review

What happens when you have always wanted to be something else but end up being someone you despise once in a while? 

If that’s your answer, Dark Matter might have a story you would love to delve into. 

Let’s check it out. 


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Review

Dark Matter follows Jason Dessen, a physics professor stuck in a mundane life. One night, he’s kidnapped and finds himself in a parallel universe, a world eerily similar to his own yet fundamentally different. In this reality, he pursued a successful scientific career, leading to a life of fame and fortune, but at the cost of a fractured family.

Driven by the desire to reunite with his wife and son, Jason embarks on a perilous quest to return to his original world. He soon discovers he’s not alone, encountering another version of himself, Jason2, who also seeks a way back to his own reality.

Their journey takes them through a mind-bending exploration of the multiverse, encountering alternate versions of themselves and facing the consequences of choices not taken. The story delves into themes of identity, regret, and the nature of reality, all wrapped in a thrilling science fiction adventure.

To avoid spoilers, I’ll refrain from revealing the deeper aspects of the plot, such as the scientific concepts behind the multiverse or the true nature of the antagonist.

However, I can assure you that Dark Matter is a captivating read, filled with suspense, philosophical undertones, and a satisfying conclusion.

My Review

You know what’s the most interesting part about Dark Matter? 

I have heard people being at two broad ends of the spectrum regarding this book.

Why am I saying that? 

Because all I hear is that people either love this book, or hate it? There’s no average in between and for that very reason I have decided to give it a go. 

The story centers around Jason Dessen, a seemingly ordinary physics professor in Chicago. He’s married to Daniela, an artist, and they have a son, Charlie. 

Their life appears ordinary, even happy, but beneath the surface lurks a nagging “what if?” 

Jason can’t shake the feeling of unfulfilled potential, fueled by the success of his former classmates – a renowned scientist and a thriving artist. While they chose family life, Jason can’t help but wonder about the path not taken, the life he could have had. 

This internal conflict sets the stage for a mind-bending journey that will challenge everything Jason thought he knew about himself and the world around him.

One night, this seemingly normal life takes a dramatic turn. While on his way home, Jason is abducted. 

Taken to an abandoned warehouse, he’s injected with a mysterious substance and plunges into unconsciousness. Waking up in an unfamiliar setting, surrounded by strangers, his confusion deepens. He gradually discovers the horrifying truth: he’s been thrust into a parallel reality. 

Here, his life trajectory diverged – he never married Daniela, never became a father, and instead, achieved his full potential as a scientist, even creating a device capable of traversing realities. 

This “other Jason” has, in essence, stolen his life, leaving him stranded in this alternate version. 

Driven by an unwavering desire to reunite with his family, Jason embarks on a perilous quest, determined to find his way back to his true reality, to Daniela and Charlie.

While the story starts off with a familiar premise – a seemingly normal life disrupted by a shocking event – it quickly takes a wild turn into the world of parallel realities. 

As mentioned above, the book leans more towards action-adventure with a touch of psychological thriller thrown in, making it accessible to a broader audience compared to hard sci-fi that delves deep into scientific complexities.

Here are some of the aspects I particularly enjoyed:

  • Unpredictable plot: I appreciated the author’s boldness in killing off major characters, keeping you on the edge of your seat with unexpected twists.
  • Creepy elements: The encounter with the alternate, disfigured version of himself and the voyeuristic scenes added a layer of unsettling eeriness to the story.
  • Character development: I found Amanda to be a relatable and trustworthy character, making her departure emotionally impactful. I understood her decision to move on, as Jason’s unwavering obsession with returning to his original reality would ultimately destroy their potential relationship in this new world.

The revelation of multiple Jasons in the original reality certainly added a new layer of complexity and a tinge of tragedy to the story. While we rejoice at the “good” Jason’s reunion with his family, the cost is immense.

Here are some of my reflections – 

  • Unforeseen consequence: The sheer number of Jasons battling for their “rightful” life creates a sense of immense anxiety and raises ethical questions.
  • Bleak undertone: Despite the apparent happy ending for our main Jason, the reality is bleak for the countless others who lost everything. They essentially went through the same struggle but were ultimately denied their desired outcome.
  • Jason2’s motivation: The ambiguity surrounding Jason2’s decision to choose this specific reality adds to the overall mystery and raises questions about his thought process.
  • Infinite possibilities: The concept of infinite realities and the potential for further inter-dimensional travel opens doors for endless possibilities and complications.

The ending leaves the reader grappling with the harsh realities and ethical dilemmas arising from the manipulation of existence across realities..

However, the question about multiple versions of Jason and Daniela potentially entering the same reality is quite complex and delves into the intricate nature of the narrative’s established rules regarding inter-dimensional travel. 

It ultimately remains open to interpretation and individual contemplation.

So before I end, I would like to give this books a solid 4 out of 5 stars. 

It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s engaging. 

What do you think regarding this?

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