"Are you happy with your life?"
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Read more...
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"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.
Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human--a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we'll go to claim the lives we dream of.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Excellent characterization and well-crafted tension do much to redeem the outlandish plot of this SF thriller from Crouch (the Wayward Pines trilogy). Jason Dessen, a quantum physicist, once had a brilliant research career ahead of him. But after a girlfriend’s unexpected pregnancy and the birth of a son, this future was derailed. Now Jason is a professor at a small Chicago college, content with his warm and loving family life until he’s abducted into a world in which his quantum many-worlds theory has become a fully realized technology for inter-dimensional transfer. In this world, Jason didn’t marry his girlfriend and never had a son. Jason is determined to get back to his family and his own world, but nefarious powers in the alternate reality conspire to stop him from revealing the criminal lengths they have gone to create the world-hopping technology. Crouch makes little attempt to justify the underlying science fiction MacGuffin, but a rousing and heartfelt ending will leave readers cheering. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (July)
Walking between timelines
Physics professor Jason Dessen is content with the life he’s created for himself. Married 15 years to his first true love, he is a proud father to a teenage son and is teaching a subject he adores. But as he toasts the achievement of a fellow scientist on a night out, Jason can’t help but wonder what might have been had he focused on work instead of family. His reflections on the choices that led him to this moment blind him to the approach of an assailant, a stranger who is about to insert him into territory unknown in every sense of the word.
He later awakens in a world where Jason Dessen is a foremost authority in quantum physics, celebrated for his innovation in the exploration of alternate timelines. It’s also a world in which he never married his wife, a place where his son never existed and a reality where his life is threatened by those who want to control his work. Jason knows the odds of finding a way back to his true home, to the singular life that his personal choices generated, are dangerously small. But driven by love, Jason embarks on a terrifying journey to return to the place and the people he belongs with. And he must fight the worst of himself to get there.
Author of the trilogy that inspired the “Wayward Pines” television series, Blake Crouch is a proven master of crafting surreal “what-if” stories set against a landscape of normalcy. In Dark Matter, Crouch draws back the curtain that divides our day-to-day lives from frightening companion timelines, worlds that are just a single choice away from being our own reality.
With a finale that satisfies while leaving the reader with much to reflect on, Dark Matter is a brilliant beacon in the landscape of speculative thrillers.