I had been looking for this book for ages and I was so excited when i finally found it at a small bookshop on the main cafe strip near my house. This book is one of the reasons I love science fiction. Science, paradoxes, multi-universe theory is combined to create an unsettling and perfectly written Sci-Fi thriller.

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Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Date published: July 26th 2016
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 352
My Rating55663-five-stars

“Are you happy in your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he wakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before the man he’s never met smiles down at him and says, ‘Welcome back, my friend.’

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined – one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human – a relentlessly surprising thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

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Dark Matter is an absolutely amazing science fiction book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, scratching your head, and trying to understand what exactly is happening every page. Black Crouch creates an unsettling book where decisions you make something and explores the Schrodinger’s cat paradigm to create a science fiction thriller.

The scientific theory that forms the basic of this book is well written and established into the story, though it is very confusing and complex to say the least. Most readers would have heard of ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’  and this book takes it one step further by exploring the idea of multiverses, and a concept called Superposition. As an academic, Jason designs a box that could make an object a type of ‘Schordinger’s cat’, in two states at once. An alternative version of himself in another universe, a universe where he did not give up his academic career for a family, translates this to a living human. By entering a life-sized cube and taking a psychoactive drug, an individual can travel between multiverses-which that version of Jason, dubbed Jason 2, uses to enter our primary Jason’s universe and take his place.

The antagonist of the book is the most unsettling aspect of the book. Jason has to outwit, outsmart and outthink himself-or rather, hundreds of other versions of himself, born from the different multiverses and victims of tiny and often insignificant choices made throughout ‘his’ life that shaped each of the alternate versions of Jason. Even though it is a short book, and for the most part we follow Jason as he tries to return to his own version of the universe, the history and love that Jason feels for his wife and son is well established and deep-which is important as it not only gives meaning to why Jason is so persistent at returning to his own world, but also why  Jason 2 builds the device to allow travel between the multiverses and why the other Jason’s go to the lengths they do, including murdering other Jasons, to have his family.

The plot is tight throughout and every page adds something to story. I particularly enjoyed the various universes Jason finds as he attempts to locate his own universe-the differences in technology, consequences of war, and climate. The ending is ambiguous, however perfect for this book as no ending could completley explain or complete this story.

Dark Matter is a fantastic science fiction book that definitley does not get the recognition it deserves. Blake Crouch creates an unsettling story in which multiple universes exist with multiple versions of yourself, each shaped by the minute decisions made throughout your life. With the perfect balance of complex physics and action I was left speechless at each new development. Every aspect of the book came together to create an exciting and unsettling read.

 

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