Adult Fiction | Mystery (adult) | Science Fiction (adult) | Thriller (adult)

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

11. November 2018


Science Fiction/Thriller/Mystery/Adult Fiction

“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.




I heard about Dark Matter through Instagram (are you surprised? Yeah, me neither). I initially bought it while I was still kind of afraid of anything called adult fiction. But I wanted to kind of break that fear and go outside my comfort zone. Well. It ended up standing in my bookshelf for a long time – but then I wanted something else after reading loads of fantasy, and picked up Dark Matter for the sake of some “normal fiction”. As normal I hadn’t really researched it, and I didn’t know it had science fiction in it. I also didn’t know that Dark Matter was going to surprise me and let me down at the same time.

Dark Matter is confusing, but at the same time inspirational. It’s so profoundly more philosophical than I initially thought it would be, and it kind of made me realize how lucky we really are in our lives. How one choice could have changed our outcome so much more. I also loved how Blake Crouch was able to make a shady main character that had literally thousands of sides to him. The book didn’t really excite me though, because as it laid by my bedside table, I wasn’t excited about picking it up. I was just, well, okay, it’s this book again. Which was kind of sad and ruined my initial excitement about it.

I also found Dark Matter to be slightly impossible, and therefore kind of hard to “accept”. I want some kind of grasp of reality, where I feel like I can understand or comprehend how this can or cannot happen. Fantasy to me is easier to comprehend than science fiction, which is kind of weird as I’m writing this. Because we all know it’s more possible that something as time travel will exist in the future rather than dragons or wands. But I find fantasy more realistic than science fiction because it often feels kind of out there. And that’s what Dark Matter was to me. Unrealistic.


  • “No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic” (p. 1)
  • When we realize that something weird is happening to Jason, but we’re not really sure what (p. 30)
  • When we realize what this book is about (p. 123)
  • When Leighton turns scary af (p. 134)
  • When we realize there are hundreds of thousands of Jason’s, and that one of them was the guy who kidnapped Jason in the first place (p. 142)
  • When Jason told us about the theory around uncanny valley; where we feel uncomfortable with humanoid looking things like mannequins (p. 216)
  • “If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?” (p. 218)

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