Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 7/26/16.
Summary from Goodreads:
“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.
This is not a book I would typically pick up, but I kept seeing it at BEA and never got my hands on it. I requested it on Netgalley instead and was approved so here we are. I wasn’t sure what to think going in as some other reviewers called it Sci-fi (which is definitely not my thing) and others called it Psychological Suspense. Though there is definitely some science-y stuff in it–Jason is a scientist after all–it definitely leans more toward the Psychological Suspense side of things. Jason has no idea what is happening to him, but has limited resources, and lots of knowledge, to figure it out and work his way back to “his world” with very little help. Once he does find his way back to what he thinks is his version of the world, he faces other very familiar obstacles. Based on the synopsis and the different versions of the same world, it seems like this would be a very confusing read, but it actually wasn’t at all. I was intrigued and found all the descriptions of Chicago, in its various forms, very interesting. I can’t imagine what it would be like to experience this kind of bizarreness and to try to get others to believe you.
This was a good read, but not one I would typically pick up or even recommend to my friends. I will keep it in mind though for people who do ask for this kind of book and am glad that I did read it. The end wrapped up a little too easily for me, but I am picky about endings, so it could just be me.
My rating: 4/5