Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
eBook review copy; 352 pages
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
is a very highly recommended science fiction thriller that is
ultimately about the importance of family and the choices we make.
Jason Dessen is happily married to Daniela and they have a 15 year old
son, Charlie. Both Jason and Daniela gave up dreams for their futures
when she became pregnant and they choose to marry and start a family
together. Now, instead of the brilliant career in physics research that
he imagined, Jason is a physics professor at a small college in Chicago.
Daniela gave up her career as an artist. Their lives aren't what they
dreamed of when young, but they have a good life.
Everything changes for Jason when he is kidnapped, drugged, and sent to
an alternate universe, a universe where the Jason Dessen there chose the
career path and developed a way to reach the multiverse, or
inter-dimensional space. Some string theorists have long thought that
dark matter is composed of something different than ordinary matter and
it may be the key to the multiverse and alternate realities. Jason 2
discovered a way to travel the multiverse. Now he has switched places
with Jason to experience what his life would have been like if he had
Jason is now in Jason 2's world and the company Jason 2 is working for
needs answers from him that he can't provide. Jason is determined to try
to get back to his family, but it isn't quite as simple as it seems.
He's in a world where people are going to imprison or kill him and the
only escape is into a multiverse where there are limitless alternate
The multiverse is tied to the paradox of Schrödinger's cat. Basically,
referring to Wikipedia, Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment
devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It is an
interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The
scenario presents a cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead,
as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may
not occur. Until the event is observed, quantum mechanics treats it as a
third state where it has neither occurred or not occurred.
Excellent writing and admirable character development make this an
exceptionally compelling novel. The suspense increases as Jason finds
himself in this unthinkable situation. Tension and apprehension escalate
as Jason tries to navigate his way home without any real guide (other
than, briefly, a fellow traveler). The only way to figure out how the
multiverse works is through making choices. The narrative uses the
science fiction elements of a multiverse as a vehicle to focus on the
struggle Jason goes through to try and get back to those he loves, which
makes it a novel about the importance of family and how the choices we
make on a daily basis effect our lives.
While there have been many novels about alternate realities and the multiverse, Blake Crouch's Dark Matter is a welcome addition to the genre and will make a great movie someday.
My advanced reading copy was courtesy
of the publisher for review