Dark Matter

By Blake Crouch,

Book cover of Dark Matter

Book description

'Brilliant. . . I think Blake Crouch just invented something new' - Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series.

From Blake Crouch, the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human - a relentlessly surprising thriller about choices, paths…

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Why read it?

10 authors picked Dark Matter as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

One of my favorite things in the world is listening to a good audiobook, start to finish, on a long road trip. Having moved back and forth across the country more times than I care to count, I’ve done this a fair number of times, and my favorite memory by far is the experience I had when listening to this book for the first time.

I’ve enjoyed most of Blake Crouch’s books for their tight pacing and titillating, mind-candy premises (in Dark Matter, it’s a neat mechanic for hopping alternate realities), but what really hit me with this one in…

I loved this book not only because Jason Dessen was a great main character to follow as he tried to figure out how he landed in an alternate version of his life but also because of the intimate portrayal of his marriage to Daniela.

All the science in this science-fiction thriller was written so people like me—who took low-level science courses in high school—could understand it without feeling like it was tedious to read. It was gripping to watch Jason face the impossible choice of how far he would go to get back to his family.

How good is it? I just decided to put it on my reread list. Parallel universes? The Multi-verse? Don’t get nervous. Even I was able wrap my mind around the leaps between them all.

This thriller packed within a sci-fi novel is a rollercoaster of a ride, quantum mechanics and all. No PhD required.

Book cover of Shortcake

Christopher Gorham Calvin

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Enter a captivating world where science fiction and thrilling suspense converge. After plummeting from the roof of Helix Unbound, Amanda awakens to a life devoid of memories. Desperately longing to fit in, yet sensing she harbors an extraordinary secret beneath her seemingly ordinary facade, she explores the unfamiliar world in an effort to find herself. But when a companion from her forgotten past becomes entangled in a serial killer’s deadly game, Amanda is thrust into a race against time to prevent a catastrophe of massive proportions.

Dive into this gripping techno-thriller series that explores the emotional turmoil of life, resilience in the face of tragedy, the ever-present specter of death, and the eternal struggle to find the inherent goodness within us all.

Shortcake

By Christopher Gorham Calvin,

What is this book about?

A genetically engineered child with no memory of her past. A killer with dreams of destruction. And the fate of a city hanging in the balance…

Enter a captivating world where science fiction and thrilling suspense converge. After plummeting from the roof of Helix Unbound, Amanda awakens to a life devoid of memories. Desperately longing to fit in, yet sensing she harbors an extraordinary secret beneath her seemingly ordinary facade, Amanda explores the unfamiliar world in an effort to find herself. And when a companion from her forgotten past becomes entangled in a serial killer’s deadly game, Amanda is thrust…


A family man is kidnapped by a mysterious individual and sent to an alternate timeline. Another time travel epic unfolding against the backdrop of a conspiracy, Dark Matter made my Favorite Reads of 2023 list. For very specific reasons. 

It is not a tour-de-force in character development or classic literature, but a very slick high-octane thriller written like a screenplay: the journey is visual, the progression linear, and the pacing intense.

It’s an ode to my screenwriting days and I love how Blake Crouch was able to combine two different mediums (the novel and the screenplay) to shape a…

Dark Matter has a compelling premise: in the near future, someone creates a machine that mimics Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment—to potentially devastating consequences. But countering the story’s scientific plotline is the main character’s drive to reunite with his family (in multiple ways, which you’ll discover if you read it).

This mix of science and humanity resonated with me and influenced me when I wrote my book. The science in Dark Matter was handled well, with Crouch showing the science rather than stopping the story with pages of exposition.

Gripping, yet scary in its implications if this technology is ever created…

From Michael's list on a future we probably want to avoid.

Jason Desson has a happy life but harbors a few regrets. One night, on the way home from a local pub, he is abducted. He wakes up in a bizarre world, surrounded by strangers. Closely watched and fearing for his life, he escapes only to later discover he never married, and his son was never born. On the run from his abductors, he struggles to solve the mystery. Jason finds himself in a life-or-death struggle to return home, but that may not be possible in this strange world. Brilliantly plotted and mind-bending, I could not put it down. It will…

From John's list on for science fiction beginners.

Dark Matter is in the parallel universe group. It’s a fast-moving technothriller that takes you through a man’s discovery of ‘what if’ by jumping through different realities. It’s a page-turner and doesn’t take too much brainpower to process, as some great sci-fi does. It still makes you think, not only about our universe, but also about what happiness means. 

From Gabriella's list on set in multiple dimensions.

Dark Matter is another favorite of mine that mixes a thriller with science fiction and the result is a reader who can’t turn the pages fast enough. Blake comes from a thriller background so he uses pace and action so well in this book and the mix of sci-fi is just enough to make you believe but not so much that it’s like reading a text book. That touch of science without being overwhelming influenced my psychological explanations in my second thriller.

I read this in one sitting during my summer vacation last year. Crouch writes for the screen as well as writing for print, and it shows. His pacing is amazing and this book is a real thrill-ride of a science fiction tale set in the multiverse.

Unlike a lot of other science fiction, where the multiverse is just a background fact that informs the story, this novel really digs into the theoretical ideas behind it, and then uses that to ramp up the emotional stakes.

No spoilers, but the protagonist is a physicist who is drugged, kidnapped, and left in…

From Mark's list on multiverse to blow your mind.

If you have ever thought about “what if?” in terms of your own life decisions then Dark Matter will give you even more questions to ponder. It is the pinnacle of the multiverse and alternate reality fiction. I wanted to read this book and be able to say “ugh, overrated.” But not, it is appropriately rated, it is excellent! 

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