Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Rating: 10/10

Read this book with my buddy, fellow blogger and exceptional reviewer Bentley. Check his awesome blog, here.

“Every moment, every breath, contains a choice. But life is imperfect. We make the wrong choices. So we end up living in a state of perpetual regret, and is there anything worse?

What an exhilarating, unsettling and thought-provoking book!

And it’s definitely one of those books you should read without prior knowledge of the plot. I know I say this pretty often, but I think GR or back cover synopses can be very revealing and may ruin some surprises. Going into Dark Matter blind will keep you guessing and theorizing during the whole read. I did so with my friend Bentley (though he left me behind pretty quickly, lol) and it was a lot of fun to try and get ahead of the plot.

There’s something horribly lonely about a place that’s almost home.

Dark Matter is the kind of book you will read super fast. I did, despite life’s constant interfering! Partly because Jon Lindstrom made an excellent job personifying Jason, the main character, in the audiobook, but mostly because the story was extremely gripping! You won’t get a chance to feel bored! Blake Crouch made sure to put enough tension, especially towards the end, to make you turn the pages frenetically and enough twists so you never know if you have a real or fake respite! The writing was clipped and efficient and suited the pace and the action perfectly. Description was used only sparsely to define the different locations and formulate the MC’s feelings and sensations. The writing was definitely efficient! Which reminded me of Pierce Brown’s writing in Red Rising. Is this a Sci-Fi thing? ^^”

If you strip away all the trappings of personality and lifestyle, what are the core components that make me me?

Dark Matter is a science-fiction thriller. Which naturally means that besides the breakneck suspense and action, you will face scientific aspects and more specifically, quantum mechanics theories. But if you’re not scientific or if science intimidates you, please don’t let that keep you from giving this excellent book a chance. The author made a fantastic job at vulgarizing physics theories and giving just enough for you to get the scientific information and for it to serve the story.

And maybe I can let go of the sting and resentment of the path not taken, because the path not taken isn’t just the inverse of who I am. It’s an infinitely branching system that represents all the permutations of my life […]

But what really made the book so phenomenal for me is undoubtedly how philosophical it was and that the existential questions it raised make you question yourself, your life, your identity, your choices: what would I do, given the same choices (or lack of choices)? Would I fight? Would I protect? Would I run? Would I beg? Or would I just sit, frozen, and do nothing at all? Choices were the core of this book: choices we made, choices we didn’t make and those that are made for us. Choices we regret, choices we have to live with and satisfying choices. And the most terrifying of all, as my friend Bentley astutely observed, the tiny choices here and there that might mold us into a totally different person!

I can’t help thinking that we’re more than the sum total of our choices, that all the paths we might have taken factor somehow into the math of our identity.

I leave you with this quote, hoping that it, and all the previous ones, convince you to give Dark Matter a chance! I won’t shut up about it in real life so it’s only natural that I gush about it here (despite planning towrite a short review) and recommend it to every kind of reader! ^^

Review by Haïfa.

Read in October 2017.

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