Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Category: Science Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A scientist is kidnapped and sent to a parallel world. Can he find a way to return to his family in a multiverse of infinite possibilities?
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 352 Date: August 2017
Publisher: Macmillan
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781447297567

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Are you happy in your life?

Jason Dessen contemplates the enormity of the question posed to him by his masked abductor. On the face of it, the answer has to be yes; Jason has a loving wife and son at home and a stable job as a teacher. But life is always full of What ifs. Before marrying his wife, he had a promising career as a scientist. Likewise, his wife was a talented artist. Both gave up their career ambitions when Daniella became pregnant. The decision to keep the baby and focus on their family was a pivotal moment that put them on a certain trajectory. Jason thinks hard. No. He wouldn't change his life for anything, despite a nagging curiosity about how things might have turned out if he'd done things differently. And with that thought still fresh in his mind, he blacks out...

Jason wakes up in a world very different from his own. He is still Jason Dessen, but in this world, he seems to be a renowned, award-winning scientist who has made an astonishing breakthrough. He is not married; Daniella is a single lady with a successful art career. Their son Charlie was never born. Jason struggles to come to terms with what has happened; the aching desire to return to his family is palpable. He finds himself faced with an impossible task; finding his way home through a labyrinth multiverse of infinite What ifs.

The theory of the multiverse dictates that every decision we make creates another fork in the road; a universe where we said yes, and a universe where we said no. Each path then continues to split, creating infinite universes filled with unlimited outcomes. In the story, it is Jason's job to work his way through these worlds (represented by a corridor filled with infinite doors), in the hope of finding his original world, which contains his family. As Jason visits each world, he finds vastly different outcomes; some worlds are a post-apocalyptic nightmare, filled with disease, ash or ice, whilst others are shiny, futuristic utopias in which mankind has reached a pinnacle of technological achievement. In between, there are worlds uncannily like his own, but never an exact fit.

I was drawn in by the premise of the book and once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I started late one evening, just before bed and I'd read the whole thing by lunchtime the following day. I was rewarded with a completely engrossing narrative and, near the end of the book, one of the most explosive, brain-bending plot twists I have ever come across. It was one of those moments where you stop, go back to the beginning of the page and have to read it over a few times to make sure you have taken it all in. It was a definite gasp out loud moment; especially as I just didn't see it coming at all.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. It has been one of the highlights of my reading year and it is just crying out for a screen adaptation. The balance between sci-fi and love story makes it one of those books that will appeal to everyone, even those who don't think they like science fiction.

Bookbag also enjoyed All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai, in which a time traveller derails the future by messing up a pivotal point in history.

Buy Dark Matter by Blake Crouch at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Matter by Blake Crouch at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Dark Matter by Blake Crouch at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dark Matter by Blake Crouch at Amazon.com.


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