Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

RATING: 4.3/5


Jason Dessen is walking home through the chilly Chicago streets one night, looking forward to a quiet evening in front of the fireplace with his wife, Daniela, and their son, Charlie—when his reality shatters.

It starts with a man in a mask kidnapping him at gunpoint, for reasons Jason can’t begin to fathom—what would anyone want with an ordinary physics professor?—and grows even more terrifying from there, as Jason’s abductor injects him with some unknown drug and watches while he loses consciousness.

When Jason awakes, he’s in a lab, strapped to a gurney—and a man he’s never seen before is cheerily telling him “welcome back!”

Jason soon learns that in this world he’s woken up to, his house is not his house. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born.

And someone is hunting him.


My first Blake Crouch read and my second sci-fi read. To be honest, this is probably the worst book cover that I encountered. But this sci-fi thriller just proves that we should not judge a book by its cover.

After being kidnapped, Jason Dessen discovered that his life was switched with another Jason from a parallel universe. We then followed Jason’s journey in getting back his life. Although this book involves some sci-fi elements, to me the main theme is about the choices that we faced in life or rather, the path not taken in life. Flowing through this theme, Jason’s characterization shines throughout the book. His conflicted mentality regarding his path not taken in life, his love towards his family…they were all well executed and properly fleshed out in this book. Such character work by Blake Crouch amazes me as I did not expect it to be so detailed in a sci-fi read.

As this is only my second sci-fi read, I can only compare this with The Three Body Problem. Dark Matter is definitely more engaging, fast paced and action packed. The sci-fi elements are also easily understood and not as complicated as some theories in The Three Body Problem.

There are only 2 problems. Firstly, Amanda’s (a side character in this book) characterization fall flat to me. I just cant get the dynamics between her relationship with Jason. Secondly, the ending of this book is not satisfying. While I have no issues with open ended endings, this book ended quite abruptly to me and I felt that certain plot lines were not clarified properly.

All in all, this is a 4.3/5 star read to me. If you are looking for an easy and engaging sci-fi read, Dark Matter is the one for you!

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