Dark Matter is a genre-bending fast-paced extremely unputdownable book that will undoubtedly mess with your mind. The premise is that the multiverse exists and was created by a version of our protagonist (but statistically there should be multiple realities where the multiverse was created by versions of our protagonist). So our protagonist, Jason Dessen is plucked from reality as he knows it and abducted, drugged, and flung into a parallel version of foreign reality by- wait for it- Jason Dessen from said foreign reality. Our protagonist grapples with a maddening identity crisis as he comes to terms with his terrifying new reality- one where his wife is not his wife, his son doesn’t exist, and he is an award-winning scientist.
From that point on we follow our protagonist (the unreliable narrator) as he navigates this world, so you’re guessing, anticipating the future, and discovering the unfolding events at the same time- which serves this plot well. This makes Jason Dessen thoroughly likable and relatable. It makes total sense that it’s being adapted into a TV series by Apple.
The plot isn’t air-tight and one could poke holes but the utterly gripping narrative makes up for it. Crouch layers in philosophy as well, urging readers to question their decisions, ask what’s truly important to us, what we want from life, and are we happy?
My reading lists are unfortunately one-dimensional, so Dark Matter was a welcome sci-fi thriller with big emotions to switch gears for a bit. I recommend it.