The title Dark Matter feels a little bit deceptive as “dark matter” is only brought up once. However something more accurate like, “Putting humans in a quantum state of superposition and the consequences” is a little awkward as a title. Regardless, Dark Matter is a taut science fiction thriller, with dashes of mystery and true love.
Jason Dessen lives an ordinary life. Married to the love of his life, Daniela, raising their son Charlie together, and working as a college professor. Every once in a while, like most of us, he wonders about the road not taken. Jason is a brilliant physicist and Daniela a talented artist. 15 years ago they were both on the cusp of breaking out into greatness in their respective fields but Charlie came along and they put dreams aside to create a family.
The expression is that you never know what you have until it’s gone and that is especially true for Jason. One night on his way home he is abducted at gun point, questioned if he is happy with his life, and taken to a remote abandoned warehouse. There the abductor has him change clothes, injects him with something, and that is the last thing Jason remembers. When he wakes up he is in a strange facility surrounded by people he doesn’t know, but who all know him and are insistent on knowing what has happened to him over the past 14 months since he disappeared inside the box.
Bewildered and afraid, Jason tries to make sense of what has occurred and comes to realize he is where he might have been had he and Daniela decided not to keep Charlie. As he figures out what is going on, the simple quest of getting home to the ones he loves becomes a lot more complicated.
Coming to end of this review it has just occurred to me that the title Dark Matter might be a double entendre. While it does refer to the physical dark matter that makes up a large portion of the universe, it could also be a reference to what happens to Jason is a dire situation. As in, the assailant put a lot of effort into the dark matter of abducting Jason.
Blake Crouch did an excellent job with the plot and pacing of Dark Matter. He keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn’t give much time for breathers. As you approach the home stretch, Crouch throws in a final twist that ramps up the tension and question of how will it all resolve. Dark Matter is a thoroughly engaging read that I would recommend, especially if you like thrillers flavored with sci-fi.
Are you happy with your life?