Dark Matter by Blake Crouch | Book Review

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch book cover

Jason Dessen pops out for a quick drink one night when, on his way home to his wife and son, he is kidnapped at gunpoint and knocked unconscious. He awakes in a lab surrounded by complete strangers, all of whom seem to know exactly who he is. His wife is not his wife, his son doesn’t exist, and he is no longer a mere physics professor. He has been transported to a world in which is life is not quite his own, but which could have been his had he made some very different decisions many years ago.

Dark Matter is one of those addictive, edge-of-your seat thrillers that sucks up every second of your free time until the story is done. It hurtles along at a gripping pace, twisting and turning continuously thanks to its smart and enticing plot. Protagonist Jason is on the whole a likeable character, but he’s by no means perfect. He’s a little whingey at times – somewhat defeatist – and yet I couldn’t help but root for him, no matter how many times he let his emotions cloud his practical mind.

[SPOILER AHEAD!]

What I loved the most about Dark Matter was its bleak final third, in which Jason realises that he must compete against multiple different alternate versions of himself for his old life. All of them are as smart as him and just as desperate, but they’re not the original him… or are they? Which of them deserves to succeed? Which of them is ruthless enough to kill other versions of their own self? It’s a complete mindfuck which leaves you feeling disorientated and exhausted, no doubt just as all those poor, confused Jasons probably feel.

[SPOILER OVER!]

All in all, I loved Dark Matter. It’s a fascinating concept, brilliantly executed. I highly recommend it for those who love a juicy thriller.

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance copywriter and fiction writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction. She has published two short story collections - 'Merry Bloody Christmas' and 'Come What May Day'. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition. She can often be found loitering on Twitter (@itsemscott), Instagram (@tinysillystories) and Medium (@elliemaryscott).

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