Title & Author: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 352 pages
Description: “‘Are you happy with your life?’
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
Before a man Jason’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.”
“Every moment, every breath contains a choice. But life is imperfect. We make the wrong choices. So we end up living in a state of perpetual regret, and is there anything worse?”
That state of perpetual regret is life’s universal villain.
A villain we all come face-to-face with at least once in our lives.
A villain that lingers in the depths of our minds in the form of a doubt-filled voice, which fuels our battles against the “whispers of what might have been.”
Lucky for us, that’s typically where our battles end. The villain remains trapped within the hypothetical. Buried in the internal queries of: “What would my life be like had I made a different choice?” Maybe we’ll daydream about the alternative for a moment or two, but usually we’re able to tuck it away and move on with our lives. Namely, because what’s done is done.
But that’s not the case for Jason Dessen.
Because in Jason’s world — thanks to a scientific breakthrough — the villain isn’t trapped, what’s done is certainly not done, and our lives aren’t necessarily our own.
“It’s terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches into a new world.”
This thought-provoking novel explores the concept of the hypothetical becoming reality. Of every miniscule outcome leaving the realm of should have, could have, would have and becoming a did. In Jason’s case, it’s waking up — after an abduction — to a world where he made a different choice during a pivotal life moment. And much to Jason’s horror, discovering that this new world isn’t a figment of his imagination, but rather a real, functioning parallel universe.
Through Jason’s story, we’re forced to contemplate the concept of a do-over. If given the chance to make a different choice, would you take it? Would it help you definitively prove whether life was truly greener on the other side? If given the option, do you only open one door to the past, or multiple? And, most importantly, if you did decide to take an alternative path is it still YOUR life you’re living? Would you still be you, or only a version of you?
These questions are only a piece of the puzzle that Crouch assembles before the book’s conclusion. This addictive page turner will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about the multiverse, identity, and the true repercussions of our actions. It will haunt you long after the final page, and is a must read for any science fiction fan!