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Dark Matter – A Fascinating Journey Of The Unexplored Choices.

D

“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch is a riveting sci-fi thriller that keeps the readers engaged throughout the plot progression. Crouch skilfully weaves the realms of quantum mechanics with the everyday existential implications of human choice. The reliance on science as a plot device is minimal, and the author has avoided any jargon or complex terminologies and keeps the reading experience simple and enjoyable. The novel is an exploration “For anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.”

Dark Matter

“Dark Matter” is a sci-fi thriller set in October 2015 in Chicago and uncovers the plot primarily from the viewpoint of Jason Dessen – the story’s protagonist. Jason is living happily with his wife, Daniela, and son Charlie. He is content and deeply in love with Daniela and his family. But his whole life is turned upside down when he encounters a near-death, life-changing experience that sets his journey across multiple timelines.

As Jason’s journey unfolds before the reader, he is forced to face his choices, the ‘road not taken’, and his understanding of reality, love, death and familial bonds. Towards the end, the reflection by Jason seems profound: “My understanding of identity has been shattered—I am one facet of an infinitely faceted being called Jason Dessen who has made every possible choice and lived every life imaginable” and explains to the readers that how an individual is a sum total of their choices.

Blake Crouch is to be appreciated for writing a sci-fi that is simple enough to resonate with readers through its everyday themes. Using the simplest symbols, like a ‘piece of thread’, which serves as an anchor for reality to the protagonist, symbolises how solace may be found in the simplest things in the most challenging times. Such simple motifs resonate with the readers and leave a profound impact long after turning the final pages.

Dark Matter
“What will happen when this last physical trace of my marriage is gone? When there’s no
anchor?” – Jason

Though the writer has not used any complex scientific jargon, the plot tries to achieve too much towards the end and becomes ‘mind-bending’ to follow. Towards the end, the writer tried to answer too many philosophical questions about the nature of reality, individualism, identity, love and the human condition. The plot was meddling and chaotic towards the end, which could have been simplified to provide a cleaner ending. The ending only reaffirms that we must live with our choices as Daniela remarks – “Life doesn’t work that way. You live with your choices and learn.”

In summary, “Dark Matter” is a light weekend read, which keeps readers hooked to the plot. However, towards the end, the plot turned quite meddling, which could have easily been avoided and kept simple to improve the overall experience. Recently, a new development shows that it is being converted into a TV series for the Apple TV, which I look forward to. Given the plot, it seems an exciting watch with much scope for creativity and visual elements. Overall, readers who pick this book for a light read won’t be disappointed, and given the unexpected revelations and twists of the plot, the readers will surely be entertained.

My Rating:-

Dark Matter: Goodreads Rating: 4.13

Reviewed On:

  • Paperback
  • Total Pages: 401
  • Genre: Fiction/Sci-Fi/Thriller
  • Dark Matter: Blake Crouch

About the author

Vishal

An Engineer by education, public servant by profession and a pet parent. A novice cyclist, avid reader, adventure and cricket enthusiast, computer gamer, chess player by passion, overall a learner at heart. Life is too short for the overwhelming variety and entirety of experiences. There are so many things to try, learn and experience.

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Hilly Reviews Trek Books, Trail Change…

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