Dark Matter: A Novel by Blake Crouch (Epub)

 

Ebook Info

  • Published: 2017
  • Number of pages: 368 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 0.85 MB
  • Authors: Blake Crouch

Description

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.

User’s Reviews

Review “You’ll gulp Dark Matter down in one afternoon, or more likely one night… Alternate-universe science fiction [and] a countdown thriller in which the hero must accomplish an impossible task to save his family. There’s always another door to open, and another page to turn.” —New York Times Book Review “A mind-blowing sci-fi/suspense/love-story mash-up.”—Entertainment Weekly“A fast, tasty read with a killer twist. It’s a whole bag of barbecue chips…just sitting there waiting for you to devour in one long rush.”—NPR.org “A hard tale to shake…makes its characters — and readers — wonder what life would have been like had they made different decisions. Relatable and unnerving.”—USA Today “Propulsive…Dark Matter has plenty of heady concepts and phantasmagorical plotting. But it is also beguilingly rooted in [its hero’s] desperate travails, elevating this page-turning adventure into an entirely different dimension.”—Entertainment Weekly“A blockbuster read that channels Michael Crichton… I can’t remember when I last sat down and blew through a book in literally a single sitting.”—The Verge“A dazzling book for summer [with] a mind-bending premise, a head-spinning plot that’s dialogue-driven and adrenaline-fueled, and a gut-wrenching climax that gave me goose bumps.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune“Draws on questions and anxieties we all wrestle with in the dark hours…Crouch has invested [sci-fi motifs] with scientific plausibility, and more unusually, with emotional depth.”—Wall Street Journal“Crouch takes a sharp sci-fi premise and infuses it with love…A gripping page-turner [that is] concerned above all with the heart, and what we do to it—or let happen to it—over time. Dark Matter is It’s A Wonderful Life for the 21st century”—AVClub.com“[A] mind-blowing speculative-science thriller that throws in an old-fashioned love story for good measure.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram “Enormously compelling…the fastest, strangest thriller you’ll read this year.”—Mashable.com”Might be the most helter-skelter, race-to-the-finish-line thriller you’ll read all year, with a clever, mind-boggling final twist.”—The Guardian”A pacy, action-driven SF thriller…terse prose, strong characterisation and clever twists make for a quick, smart, engrossing read.”—Financial Times”A high-tension thriller…always engaging and frequently moving. A strong piece of summertime get-away reading, perfect for those times when the mind wanders to contemplate an alternate reality of endless vacation.”—San Francisco Chronicle “Exciting, suspenseful and frightening, yet also poignant and heartwarming, DARK MATTER is one of the best books of any year…or any reality.”—Book Reporter “A mind-bending odyssey of parallel worlds and causality [that] unfolds with all the suspense and strength of a more straightforward thriller, building up to a deliciously surreal climax…memorable and well-rounded characters add a big, beating heart to the tale.”—New York Journal of Books “Brilliant. A book to remember. I think Blake Crouch just invented something new.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series “Exceptional. An exciting, ingeniously plotted adventure about love, regret, and quantum superposition. It’s been a long time since a novel sucked me in and kept me turning pages the way this one did.” —Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of The Martian “A masterful, truly original work of suspense. Crouch delivers laser-focused prose, a plot that melds science fiction and thriller to brilliant effect, and a touching, twisted love story that plays out in ways you’ll never see coming. It all adds up to one hell of a ride.”—Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of The Stranger “Wow. I gulped down Dark Matter in one sitting and put it down awed and amazed by the ride. It’s fast, smart, addictive– and the most creative, head-spinning novel I’ve read in ages. A truly remarkable thriller.”—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series “A mind-bending thriller of the first order, not merely a rollicking entertainment but a provocative investigation into the nature of second chances, all of it wrapped in a genius sci-fi package. I dare you to put it down, because I sure couldn’t.”—Justin Cronin, New York Times bestselling author of the Passage Trilogy. “The kind of book the word “thriller” was coined for — a shooting star through multiple genres, posing fundamental questions about identity and reality before revealing itself as, at its core, a love story. Smart, fast, powerful, and ultimately touching.”—Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Guilty Minds and Suspicion “An addictive read! When the quantum mechanics kick in (no kidding!), hold onto your horses — you’re in for an intelligent, breath-taking ride.”—John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Fall and The Oath “Blake Crouch yet again proves himself to be a master. Nonstop pacing, fascinating characters and an ingenious concept all come together flawlessly in a crescendo of pursuit, danger, and romance all the way to a surprising and satisfying slam-bang conclusion.”—Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author of the John Rain series “Excellent characterization and well-crafted tension…the rousing and heartfelt ending will leave readers cheering.”—Publishers Weekly “Suspenseful, frightening, and sometimes poignant.”—Kirkus “Crouch keeps the pace swift and the twists exciting. Readers who liked his Wayward Pines trilogy will probably devour this speculative thriller in one sitting [as will] those who enjoy roller-coaster reads in the vein of Harlan Coben.”—Booklist

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ There is a point in the story where the author speaks about something that seems almost real but is unmistakably not. It gives off a vibe that repels and disgusts. For me, this story is one such example.It is well written. It tells a complete story. It contains hard SF that is presented in a reasonably sound manner. The author is clearly an accomplished and skilled writer. And this story screams false. I apologize, the rest of this review may sound arrogant, but there is no other viewpoint from which to express my misgivings except as a reader who has already thought about quantum alternative universes and can relate to someone who might be smart enough to come up with the physics to reach them.Unfortunately, the protagonist is a physicist, who in one version of his life creates a device to transport people into alternative realities. In another, he choses family over career and ends up a middling physics professor. This other life lived is upended one night when he is kidnapped and sent through the device his other version of himself invented. Unfortunately, the family man version of himself never thinks. He doesn’t react with any intelligent thought when he is kidnapped. He never starts thinking. The protagonist should perhaps have been an investor instead of a brilliant physicist. That might have read as truer to life.Most readers and most movie goers are not exceptionally smart, so perhaps this excruciating flaw may not detract from the novel for them. It may not detract from the novel for you. But hard SF is written first and foremost for smart people to evaluate how new advances might play out. If you are one of those people, you may find yourself thinking with irritation early on that the protagonist isn’t behaving intelligently. It never gets any better. He never thinks like a physicist.However, the story is sound. The writing is good. The story is thought provoking. Perhaps you will find the story engaging. There is a lot to like. But there is this streak of wrongness that you might find revolting. Try a sample. If you aren’t put off by what you can read up front, perhaps you won’t have any problem with any of it. If you do, beware, it won’t get any better.I chose to give the book three stars because it is word-crafted with skill. I might have given it an even lower rating because of the false behavior of the protagonist. However, not everyone will read this story and get the same vibe. And if the physicist’s behavior doesn’t strike you as false, you may really enjoy this story.

⭐ Everything about this book is awful. We can start with the print edition I bought. A typical mass market sci-fi paperback has 400-500 words per page. This is necessary if you’re going to “take it seriously.” This one barely makes the 200 mark. That tells you the publishers already know something’s missing here, but they’re still trying to pass it off as solid sci-fi. Now, if we get past this, we come to the writing itself: it’s drivel. Characterization is exceptionally poor, world-building is completely absent, there isn’t a single interesting turn of phrase in the whole thing and the author’s grasp of style is less than rudimentary. And if you can make it to the end, which is a black hole of boredom, it descends into confusion and plain stupidity with a speed I find baffling.I don’t normally leave bad reviews. But there’s a lot of good reviews here and frankly, I can’t understand why, other than poor, and I mean, like, really poor judgment on the reader’s part. That’s unfortunate – because there is truly great writing out there. We don’t have to settle for this drivel. Shame on the publisher, who not only brings this to market, but pushes it, while the sheep all follow along.

⭐ I’ve never read a book quite like this one. I’ve never experienced something so fantastically real or mind-bendingly normal. This book balances precisely between two extremes: It can be viewed through the lens of science fiction just as easily as realistic fiction, but it is only through the perfect blend Crouch has concocted between the two that we get such a well rendered dissection of the human mind.”Are you happy with your life?” There’s your tag line, the pitch to the reader. Can any of us truly say we’ve lived life without any regrets? If you can then perhaps this book is not for you, but if you’re like any normal person who spends day to day dealing with the consequences of life’s little choices then Dark Matter’s concept should speak to you. Opening with a seemingly random kidnapping Dark Matter quickly spirals down a path that bends the line between choice and consequence just as easily as reality.Where this book truly shines is Crouch’s masterful manipulation of science. Forced into a reality unlike anything he has experienced we follow Jason Dessen’s impossible journey through worlds and self discovery. Literally. But you don’t need to be a physics major to understand the balance here. There are concepts discussed that are probably foreign to those with even the most illustrious bachelors degrees and yet they are discussed and molded in such a way that even while fully present they fail to distract or discombobulate. They instead exist as a physical representation of minds most illusive concept: choice.Dark Matter is such a hard book to critique, not because there are problems with it and not because it is perfect without flaw, more because it’s so tightly wound together that discussing a single portion is enough to spoil it. This is a book where critiquing the characters or the setting or even the ending will get you no where because it’s not about any of that. It’s about the journey. It’s about the path not taken, it’s about self. Self understanding, self loathing, self regret, selfishness, and finally self acceptance.But just as I spend this time talking about the cerebral portion of the book I will do it an injustice if I fail to mention the physicality of it. It’s a subtlety cerebral book. More overt is the fast paced dash Jason makes as he tries to make it back to everything he’s lost. It’s nonstop movement with twists and turns that while unpredictable are wholly right. A reader can choose to focus on this portion just as easily as they can relate to the thought behind it. It’s the reader’s mindset that determines which point is more important. A person who is not interested in science fiction can easily find a foothold in the realism expressed, while a nerd can choose to follow the physical manifestation of the Schrodinger cat paradox through to its conclusion. Are you more interested in Jason’s physical or cerebral journey? Are you here for both? It’s hard to say.How do you critique life? You don’t. You make choices and you make the best of them. Reading Dark Matter is a choice. For me it was good one, wholly unexpected but rather refreshing and filling. Reading it is a choice I hope a lot of people will make in the future, but what you get out of it is entirely up to you, based on your life and your choices.

⭐ I struggled with the rating throughout the last 240 pages of this novel. It started out as a four-star read for me (even potentially five-star worthy)– truly, it’s compulsively readable in the beginning, and I could not put it down. But then, Jason’s decisions started grating my nerves, and it became a three-star book. Before the disappointingly predictable end, it would have managed a two star rating from me, but c’est la vie and all that. I’m certainly in the minority with this book; I have yet to see many other one-star reviews. So, here’s a jumbled reasoning behind my low score:This book is essentially the TV show Sliders and the lazy amalgamation of countless other (better) Sci-Fi shows/literature. Really, I’ve seen this story many times over, and while not executed in the same manner as Dark Matter, the concept of a multiverse is frequently used across the spectrum of science fiction (and other genres) literature, television, film, and various other mediums.Let’s just get this out of the way now: I hate Jason Dessen. His character bothered me to the moon and back. Jason is irrationally selfish in many of his decisions, ones in which he could potentially screw over and ruin everything, but he does so anyways. It’s certainly not written with the intention to make him look bad, and he doesn’t do anything maliciously, but his character stills comes off as ridiculously dumb. He’s also pretentious, but of the most dangerous sort: the subtle, almost too douche-y to notice, kind. And he’s a bit of a pseudo-hipster. Sorry, but he is. He drinks triple shot Americanos. He imbibes lots of wine in his BROWNSTONE (which are worth MILLIONS!!) in Chicago with his hot Spanish wife. He shops at Whole Foods (and comments on how it “smells like a hippy” he used to date–the author clearly didn’t intend any readers to point out how much of an offensive statement this is). Jason received a substantial inheritance, which makes he and his family pretty well off. And I must admit that (most) characters in literature that are wealthy and privileged tend to tick me off. I guess if I’m being honest, it’s a deep-seated bitterness that they’ll never want for anything mundane or commonplace like anyone in the lower-middle/lower class. It’s not all privileged characters I come across, though, but the ones that say and do offhanded stuff like Jason, without much or any acknowledgement of how idiotic they sound when talking about such things. He’s just a “smart”, rich white dude who the author wants to have come across as his version of the cool, selfless Everyman. Jason also smokes pot a few times a year (because I guess it’s too conformist these days to smoke it all the time, or not at all)… but more to the point, he decides to indulge after he’s been drinking, and in the midst of a whole storm of trouble. Because that makes so much sense– to get completely stoned after all that happened. So, why the hell not, right? *I shook my head so thoroughly in annoyance here, I put a crick in my neck. Every time Jason did something against his better judgment, I rolled my eyes (which now hurt from the effort). He lost all credibility for being this genius physics professor when he consistently made moronic decisions (which are too numerous to list, and I want to avoid as many spoilers as I can).There’s a moment late into the book that really bothered me, where Jason recounts first seeing Daniela (his wife) at a party. He notices her chatting up some guy in “tight jeans”, who a friend told him sleeps with everyone. And so based on a rumor, and the fact that he BELIEVES Daniela is in an uncomfortable position, he gets, ya know, super masculine and jealous and angry. Of course, he has to “rescue” this woman and claim her for himself. And so he does.1. Slut shaming goes both ways.2. Don’t assume she needs another man to swoop in and ((claim the prize)) save her.3. You admit to “cockblocking”, and you essentially put yourself in the position to woo her and have sex with her, which makes you ultimately worse.4. I hate you so much, Jason, you pathetic POS.It may seem like I’m nitpicking, but I don’t care. He exerts an attitude that is off-putting to me.*Slight spoiler alert here* A side character comes into play not far into the book, and they ultimately join Jason on this “adventure.” But after a while together, they part ways, and this character is never mentioned again. You. Just. Don’t. Do. That. I cared more about them than Jason and his idiotic quest, anyways. All he did was whine and act like a damn child, putting lives at risk. I just find it inappropriate to bring in someone new to the story if you’re only going to drop them like a hat completely.There’s really not much more I care to say about this book other than I am glad to be moving on. It did not live up to the hype by any means. The unoriginality, pathetic MC, forgettable + ultimately forgotten side characters, amateurish and clichéd dialogue, and disappointing conclusion led me to the decision of a one-star rating. I wanted to like Dark Matter, I really did. And at the start, it was growing on me… but I see now that that growth was a strangling vine.

⭐ Hip, cool, smart, city dweller totally into jazz, loves Thelonious Monk, Coltrane, Miles Davis. Trite. Boring. Played out. A million other fictions are using that same exact character format for their protagonist, why can’t we have something a little more original? How about a main character that is a country music fan? Or a Europop enthusiast? Why jazz? So I’m not a jazz fan, not a city dweller, hate smarmy hipsters … already a few pages in and I cannot even begin to relate with the main character.Put that aside, my own prejudices there, and let’s address the actual story. Okay, so you wake up disoriented, don’t know where you are, what day/time it is … you are met by a bunch of people who all seem to know you, they know your name, talk to you like they have known you for years … your first reaction? Also, let’s point out our protagonist is an intelligent man, a renowned scientist, a man of logic and understanding. So … does he ask questions? Where am I? What happened? Who are you?NO, he runs away like a scared child. WTF? Utterly unrealistic behaviors written into this character … I trudged on, chapter 2, any better? No. Chapter 3? No. I couldn’t take it any more. Just terrible characterizations and bad action scenes. I cannot, will not, finish this story. The premise promised so much, and yet the writer failed to make good on the potential for this story.As a whole, it’s YA territory, and weak at that. The author needs to really sharpen his story telling skills. I wish him the best of luck, but I won’t be purchasing any further stories from him.

⭐ So, I’ll start with the good – the writing was well done and well-paced, though I thought there were some choices that could have been done to facilitate more clear or easier reading (especially given the topic), but overall, I found Mr. Crouch’s writing to be clear and easy to consume quickly. My biggest problem is that the resolution to the issues felt rushed – I felt as though there was a clear and interesting problem and it was solved in the least interesting, most blunt way possible. (Not to mention that, within the sometimes flimsy rules of the book, the outcome creates *infinitely* more problems than it solves.)I really wanted to like the book and I’m interested in where this author goes from here – I just didn’t feel as though he had given himself enough scope to properly play out the problem and all the permutations of the primary issue. Final opinion: coulda been great, feels like the author settled for okay.

⭐ This book is most definitely nothing like The Nine Princes of Amber or any of the other books it is compared to. It’s basically a very elongated chapter of countless other books written in the format of a mediocre sci-fi made for TV movie. If you remember the TV show Sliders, this is almost exactly like one or two episodes of it. Another way to describe this books is “Sci-Fi for adults who don’t like nor have read Sci-Fi”.The author could have done so much more, but chose mediocrity. What a shame and waste of money.

⭐ “Counterpart” meets “All the Myriad Ways” meets “Nine Princes in Amber.”Here there be spoilers.I was put onto this by Hannah Greendale’s “bookworm” Youtube channel. She liked it and refused to provide a synopsis on the grounds that it would spoil the book.As a lifelong science fiction reader, I didn’t find it all that surprising. I found myself anticipating the plot developments well in advance.On the other hand, I found this a super-fun read. It recycled concepts that I’d seen developed everywhere in lively ways. It had fun with the ideas, and if it hooks people on science fiction, then more power to it.Jason Dessen is having a good life. He is not a star but he has a satisfying life, which a loving wife and son. This changes when he is kidnapped by a mysterious man who knows his name and is interested in details about his wife, and shanghaied to a research lab where people seem to know him and his groundbreaking research, but he doesn’t know any of them.In the first few pages, I was thinking “time travel?” When the character started asking questions, I thought “parallel universes.”Voila! I was right.The premise of the book is, of course, that every decision made in one world means that a world is created where the opposite decision was made. In “All the Myriad Ways,” Larry Niven explored what this idea might mean to people who have the knowledge that a poker hand won in this world meant a poker hand lost in another. Can you take satisfaction in knowing that you just happened to be the inevitable “lucky” one that had to win in an infinity of universes.Dessen learns about the way of travel through parallel worlds which involves exercising one’s will and desire, not unlike Corwin in “Nine Princes in Amber.” His mission is to get back to his wife, Daniella. He is initially helped by Amanda, who we think might develop into a love interest but doesn’t…in the time line of our focal character.H. Beam Piper, I think, invented the idea of “spreading the band” as alternate worlds are created by decision made in the original time line, which spread the original time line into multiple and infinite time lines. At the same time, there are soon an infinity of travelers looking to return to their time line. Piper suggested this would not be a problem since an infinite number of time lines leave a lot of room for even an infinite number of returning visitors.But in an infinite number of possibilities, there are bound to be some duplication.Crouch does a great job of considering the implications of this last idea.The strength of a science fiction story is how well does it permit philosophical questions. The question in Crouch is what makes for individuality. By the end of the book, we are rooting for the “original” Jason against his competition, but is that really the “original”? We could have followed any of the other Jasons on their journey and they would have been every bit the original from our perspective.It makes for some mind-bending stuff.This is not a perfect book. The character is likable, but fairly two-dimensional. There are loose ends – what happens to Amanda? – and thought problems – are there hundreds of Schroedinger boxes in Chicago?I was originally going to give this four stars, but this book accomplishes what it set out to accomplish: it is a fun, “big think” classic science fiction story, sort of a throw-back in this day and age.PSB

⭐ I think the title explains most of the gist of what I’ll be talking about here. The book is good, until the end, like a hollywood movie usually is. It’s filled with great science to mask the really strange plot devices and moments in the story that don’t quite make sense, as though the novel were missing a continuity editor (like a lot of major movies these days) More details will be explained below, but this book is Entertaining, but that doesn’t make it a good novel. There will be spoilers!I’ll start off by saying that the novel’s beginning is… Okay like the rest of it. We don’t spend much time getting to know the main character before he’s whisked off by a convenient plot device into the main conflict. For some people this will be welcome if you don’t have much patience (but if that’s the case, why are you reading a book in the first place?) For those of us that appreciate a little more exposition, it’s a bit jarring. But basically the main character, Jason Dessen, has a relationship with his wife of many years and their son Charlie that strikes him as a bit mundane. He is shocked by a random encounter (that happened to be on the same night—what a coincidence!) with his old college roommate who has gone on to be everything Jason never was but always wanted to be. He has earned a prestigious award that no one has heard of for making advancements in science that were made ages ago, but the book expects us to believe that this is some sort of noteworthy achievement. After being shocked into thinking everything about his life is awful because he might have been able to never have kids or settle down he is whisked off by a masked figure who we later learn is himself but from an alternate reality. He is violently forced, instead of convinced, to enter into the other Jason’s reality where in this future all of his dreams have come true! He never married, never had kids, and is able to create his life’s work—a quantum box that lets you switch worldlines and travel to different ones. These new realities are different versions of what happened based on a different set of choices that were made, but are somehow “adjacent” to the other ones. How these two things can somehow be true based on the numerous worlds visited makes a ton of sense if you don’t think about it.When faced with this new reality, Jason makes the only rational decision and escapes as fast as he can. He eventually tracks down the version of his wife from that world who coincidentally is sleeping with the roommate from before! Wow! They meet up and sleep together and eventually she is brutally murdered by the people he escaped from in order to bring her back in. Her death is a pill that is awfully tough to swallow as it came off completely needless. For one, obviously she had some sort of importance to Jason otherwise he wouldn’t have been hiding out with her, but somehow Velocity thinks that killing her is going to convince Jason to return? What kind of sick and twisted logic thinks that MURDER is the best way to snap someone out of amnesia or disorientation, or even make them want to return with you?Jason miraculously manages to keep his cool despite witnessing a murder in cold blood right in front of his eyes. Ryan, the roommate from before, spills the beans on what really happened (Jason confessed everything as a stoner joke but apparently he saw through it and decided to just tell Velocity everything) but honestly more convenient plot devices could not be found. Again, the lack of clear throught and silly logic appears to show this Author’s credentials as a screenwriter rather than a Novelist. Good stories do not have such a goofy structure and lack of exposition. Often they indulge in more subtleties that hint at the aspects of new characters and their internal workings rather than just spelling them out as this novel so frequently does. It reads like a movie, very episodic and direct.After the jig is up Jason manages to scramble into the box and leap off into the quantum corridor and tries his hand at finding new realities. For some very stupid reason after opening a door they manage to walk out into what is obviously a blizzard (we are told it’s early autumn before he leaves). While this isn’t impossible for a blizzard in autumn, dumping several feet of snow should be a dead giveaway that this is not in fact the world he came from. However, this genius scientist manages to get himself into a completely needless predicament along with his new sidekick, Amanda, the psychiatrist who couldn’t stomach murder (but somehow everyone else could) from Velocity labs. After their hiccup with the blizzard they return to the corridor and resume their adventures.This is the part where things stop making sense for me, as the group enter a few different doors that seem to make no sense. We later on learn that the corridor is controlled by one’s feelings right before opening a door. I.e. the blizzard world was triggered by Amanda conversing with Jason about a white out she remembered from her childhood. Now how a white out specifically, which seems like a thought to me (not a feeling) manages to create that kind of world seems a bit farfetched to me, but less so than the other examples. At one point Jason randomly throws open a door and they see a wolf standing on the other side of a chain link fence. How does one feel a wolf? What kind of memory could have evoked this? We are given no explanation for this particular world, nor some of the others that we are eventually made to witness and enter. Another example that we are made to believe is real is the “future Chicago” where the dynamic duo enters into a futuristic chicago because amanda writes it down in her notebook after they discover how it works. Now we are also told that the world lines have to be adjacent, meaning they can’t be too different from each other. Given this other rule, I’m not sure how it would be possible for them to enter a world that is obviously so radically different from the one they came from (whether it be Jason’s or Jason2’s world).Now what ends up being particularly frustrating about all of this is the painstaking research the author apparently has done into quantum mechanics and how they function. All of the phrasing he has on this subject is spot-on, including the message about schrodingers cat. The thing about quantum physics and physics in general is that they adhere to a set of rules that are constant across the universe. We call these the laws of physics. As the plot advances Jason resorts to cramming as many details into a notebook as he possibly can in order to return to his world. This ends up being one of the central conflicts to the novel—will he be able to get back to Daniela (wife) without exhausting his supply of Ampoules? However the process to get there does not appear to follow a constant set of rules, something Jason, who has a PhD in PHYSICS should be able to anticipate. Apparently these laws do not apply to the corridor and feelings reign supreme, where conversations can spark incredibly deadly blizzards but painstaking details do not lead to the desired results? Where wolves can randomly appear with seemingly no prompting, and other disease-ridden worlds can be triggered by memories of the death of a grandmother? Again, the laws of the universe are in fact consistent, but not apparently in this instance. The book seems to be at odds with itself over its very nature for the sake of being entertaining—just like a movie!The ending is probably one of the dumbest parts of the novel, and it’s where things truly break apart. After arriving home, Jason realizes he has no plan for confronting Jason2 and llaments this by heading to a hotel not far from his house in order to discover a plan. While there he is introduced to the upwards of 70 Jasons he had inadvertently created through his journey in the Corridor—all of whom made it back to where he is currently AT THE SAME TIME. What convenience! Where are all the Jasons from when Jason2 made the same attempt? Did he just get lucky and land there on his first try because he just knew how it worked? Did he somehow murder everyone else who came before him in order to secure the precious Daniela? It’s more likely the latter as Jason2 on several occasions implies that he has visited many other worlds in order to get here, and that this is the best one. But given the scale with which we later see the Jasons arriving, how did one man manage to kill 80 other versions of himself given the unique problems this presents?Eventually, the real Jason manages to get Daniela by being “unpredictable” as if 80 other versions of himself wouldn’t ever have the same idea, and whisks her away to Water tower place to explain everything then whisks her off again to Wisconsin where they break into a cabin and hole up there while they figure out what to do. The main plan ends up being a stupid lottery because Jason, after everything he’s seen, who has a PhD in PHYSICS and is clearly a SMART GUY manages to think that after everything he’s been through those other versions can be trusted to agree to a lottery and he is also willing to give up his wife to a random stranger. Cool man, this makes total sense! Daniela ends up saving the day here by convincing him that it’s a very stupid plan (which it is from the beginning but he for some reason needed her to tell him that). The whole thing is blown up horror-movie style with teenage stupidity when Jason’s son turns his phone on to text the girl he likes. This somehow tips off Jason2 who uses a locator app to track the son’s phone like every teenager’s worst helicopter parent nightmare. The cabin is swarmed with Jasons soon and the real Jason has to kill a few in order to save his family. They get back to Chicago for some reason where the other jasons had gathered for the lottery in the old factory where the box is. The ending is so shocking and so surprising that you will literally poop yourself with how unexpected it is. Are you ready? The family goes back into the box!Pop the confetti and break out the champagne! The ending you saw coming a mile away because it’s how every hollywood movie ends actually happened. It was such a disappointing moment for me that I really just wanted to toss my computer out a window because of how cheesy and stupid it was.Now for the best part, this book, is being made into a REAL movie by Sony! Isn’t that exciting? Honestly, I think they have a great chance here to make a movie that ends up being better than the book it came from—given how crappy their base is. Although since the whole thing read like it was made for the big screen, I’m honestly not even the tiniest bit surprised.Thanks for reading my review, I hope it helps you make a decision. I gave it 2 stars because the book was enjoyable but overall it made very little sense and the ending absolutely sucked—just like a movie!

⭐ 3,735 reviews. Anything I could say would just disappear into that huge pool of feedback. But let me just add my own perspective in case someone chances upon it.To me, Dark Matter is the perfect novel. It is filled with exciting scientific ideas, yet it is solidly grounded in the reality of our everyday lives. It is as fast-paced as the best of the thriller genre, yet it makes room for deep reflection on the nature of the self and how it represents the net effect of a lifetime of choices. It is grounded in solid logic, yet it is driven by pure and powerful emotions.The book caused me to think deeply about my own choices in life and how they created the fascinating story I have lived. Some of those choices, such as walking away from a tenured university professorship and moving to Silicon Valley, were profoundly difficult and still haunt me to this day. But you can only follow one path, and all my energy lay in pursuits that didn’t fit the academic mold. So I chose the riskier path that promised more excitement. I could never have had such a wonderful ride if I had stayed in my safe, predictable life.You see the effect of this book? It has me thinking these thoughts and even sharing with you, assuming anyone stumbles across this particular review. It’s that sort of book.I had to break for sleep. Other than that, this book was my non-stop obsession until I reached the last page.What more could anyone ask of a book.

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