Dark Matter is a cinematic thriller in the form of a novel. The book starts with introducing Jason Dessen, a college professor in Chicago with a wife and a son. Jason (and his wife) can’t help thinking about what might have been had they not stayed together when she got pregnant and both had pursued their dreams: his in science, and hers in art. These musings are underscored by the success of Jason’s colleague, who has just won a prestigious prize that Jason himself used to aspire to. While visiting his colleague’s celebration, Jason is kidnapped and drugged by a mysterious figure. I really can’t say too much more about what happens next, but Jason essentially wakes up to a life that is not his, with people he doesn’t know who seem to know him. (All of this information is in the book summary, really trying NOT to spoil.)
With a fairly fast-paced start, the book is very action-oriented. It goes at almost a breakneck pace with many scenes easily pictured in one’s mind, making a kind of movie as you read. This is the kind of book that’s hand-tailored to be an action movie. It was very hard to put down, and I wanted to see what the ending held very much. In this respect, it worked for me.
That being said, if you’ve read any of my other reviews, you might have noticed I have a thing for really setting up characters and making them interesting, delving deep. This book did not do that as much as I would have liked. Since the action packed pacing was so frenetic, the only character we really got to know at more than a surface level was Jason himself, and even then we don’t learn much beyond his previous aspirations and his love for his wife and child. You get a sense of their relationship, but I couldn’t really tell you what any of these people would be like if you met them on the street. In that respect, this book didn’t work for me.
Overall, Dark Matter was a solid sci-fi action read, but don’t expect more than the surface level. Also, if you only like super-defined endings, it may not be for you. If you’re interested, but unsure, you can find more information, including an excerpt, here.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Recommend: Yes, especially for lovers of action movies & thrillers, but skip if you’re only looking for strong character development
Rating: 3 out of 5