What it’s about: Jason Dessen is a moderately successful professor living happily with a wife and teenage child in Chicago. One night, a masked stranger abducts him, forces him into a warehouse, and knocks him out. He awakes to total strangers– strangers who know his name and act like they’ve known him for years–but they think he’s Jason Dessen, a world famous physicist, unmarried, childless, who’s spent his career pioneering a top secret invention. While Jason struggles to figure out how to escape and return to his old life, his family is being infiltrated by a subtle and dangerous threat. Dark Matter is a brilliant sci-fi exploration of the roads not taken, and the extremes we’ll go to in order to protect the life we’ve created.
Why I liked it: This is in my top 3 favorite science fiction novels I’ve read all year, if not my favorite. If you’re a fan of Interstellar or Inception, this book will be right up your ally. Crouch sucks you right in with his story, and methodically reveals the plot piece by piece. While the story centers around some fairly complicated physics theory, Crouch keeps his readers afloat with digestible explanations, easing them from a normal Chicago suburbia at the beginning of the book into a mind-bending Christopher Nolan-esque ending. To top it all, the heart of Crouch’s story isn’t science, it’s love: a man’s desperate struggle to preserve his own family. Instead of getting theoretical and abstract, I found myself connecting with it on a deep level. It’s not often I find a sci-fi book that lures me in immediately, offers me thrilling theory and action, and then makes me want to hold my partner closer after finishing it. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.
Read if you liked:
Christopher Nolan movies (as mentioned earlier)
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Wool by Hugh Howey