Blake Crouch's Dark Matters is set to hit the bookstores tomorrow and it seems to be the thriller the summer has been waiting for. I received a Netgalley of the book in exchange for a review and thankfully for the publisher I have lots of good to say about it.
In many ways, Dark Matters is not an original story. The plot centres around Jason Dessen, a relatively content college physics teacher who is happily married but holds some regrets about putting his family ahead of research and career goals.
One day he is kidnapped by a mysterious man who drugs hi
m and puts in a box, waking up in an alternative reality, where he has had an incredibly successful career and managed to invent a device that allowed people to travel across parallel worlds. Quickly Jason discovers that his kidnapper was an alternative version of himself who himself regretted giving up familial success.
Jason must now figure out how to get back to his world and regain the family.
So yeah, we've seen this before. That cheezy Nicolas Cage film, The Family Man, that 90s tv series that refused to die well after it's best before date, Sliders, and the hilarious Family Guy episode where Brian and Stewie travel from one alternative reality to another.
Dark Matters gives us a bit more science, a la The Martian, to explain how travel between the universes is possible and that is nice. But what really carries the novel is the gangbusters style of writing, pushing the reader forward at a breakneck pace and still making a really compelling emotional connection with the characters.
We feel Jason's pain as he tries, at times hopelessly, to find his wife and son. That agony carries the novel and makes it distinct from previous multi universe stories.
This book is no grand piece of literature, but it is a perfect summer beach read that you'll power through.