“What makes you think something is wrong with your mind?”
“Because the last eight hours of my life don’t make sense. It all feels real, but it can’t possibly be.”
What a BRILLIANT book!! Full disclosure: this is nothing like what I usually review. I’m a romance reader and this book is a sci-fi thriller so trust me, I am shocked I loved it. But I did. I seriously LOVED it! It’s a new favorite of year!
Imagine you had a life you loved: a husband/wife, a son, a lifetime of memories. Then imagine waking up one day and your family is GONE. Not dead, not taken, but gone — like they never existed. That’s what happened to this hero. And this is his story of doing everything in his power to get back to the woman he loves more than anything.
If Fringe, Orphan Black, The Notebook, and The Matrix had a book baby, this would be it. And it was awesome! I usually hate this “type” of book but as I said, this one was brilliant. It made sense. It was character driven. It had a love story. It was gripping. I could not put it down. If you’re looking for something totally DIFFERENT, try this!!
A few things I want to mention because it’s a sci-fi thriller is that the story takes place in the real world: there’s absolutely no time travel, it’s not in the future, and there’s no space stuff. Also it’s a standalone with a HEA. I’m saying that bluntly because this is a thriller and they don’t all have them and I want to reassure my largely romance-reader following that this has an ending you’ll be happy with.
One of the main reasons that I decided to read this was that I was just in the mood for something to shake my reading up. I love my “reading box” — I’m a romance addict through and through and that genre has my heart, but once in a while I just need to go in a completely other direction just to… cleanse my palate so to speak. And this book was such a pleasant surprise because not only did it deliver exactly what I was looking for by keeping me engaged and interested, but it ended up a favorite! I’ve been bugging my husband to read it all day because I just want someone to talk to about the story! It just really makes you wonder. You’ll see what I mean when you read it…
“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? …
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.
I was hooked right from the start of the book. Can you just imagine if your husband, wife, or child suddenly disappeared — like there was literally no trace of them existing? But you spent the last 15 years of your life with them — you know they’re real. So what happened? Are you crazy? Or is there just maybe, an explanation. If there is an explanation, how do you figure it out? Luckily, the hero of this story was a scientist. Problem solving was his expertise and even though what was happening to him was terrifying beyond all reason, (to quote The Martian) he had to “science the shit” out of it. BUT the very important thing was that even though a scientific explanation was discovered as the story progressed, it never once bogged down the story. The focused remained on HIM — his emotional, personal experiences so I always remained emotionally connected to what was happening. At its core, this is a story about a man who loves his wife so much that he is willing to do anything to find her again.
I was pulled into this story.
Surprised by it.
Shocked by the twists.
Intrigued by the complexity.
Fascinated by the explanation.
Desperate for this man to find his way back to his wife and son.
My exact note from the first quarter of the book is: WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?????!!!
I whisper, “Now what?”
And he says, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
I think it helped a lot that I really loved the hero of the story. This man was just so goddamn good — like, right to his core. I couldn’t help but feel for him and the author takes you through this journey with him that just feels so real. You understand his choices, you experience his desperation, and you cling to his fleeting shreds of hope.
And the final thing that really made this book a winner for me was that the explanation of what was happening MADE SENSE. There were no giant leaps of faith — at least no more than you’d have when watching Fringe or The Matrix — and it was just logical enough to be something you accepted without questions. There were no plot holes either. Everything genuinely came together cohesively and rounded out to a very satisfying ending!
I’d consider this to be a top favorite book of the year! The writing was strong, the story was unique, addictive, made me feel, kept me guessing, and even after I finished reading, I can’t stop thinking about it! This is the first book of its kind that I’ve reviewed on my blog but I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something really different!
Rating: 5 stars! Standalone sci-fi thriller.
PS: Yes, in my opinion this book is worth it’s price-tag. I paid full price for the eBook and then loved it enough that I also bought the Hardcover for my favorites shelf after!
PPS: According to Deadline, there’s a movie deal in the works with Sony! They said that “The author will write the script when he completes the book.” so I can’t WAIT! This story would make an absolutely fantastic movie!