Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – An Audio Book Review



‘Are you happy in your life?’

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he wakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before the man he’s never met smiles down at him and says, ‘Welcome back, my friend.’

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.

From the author of the best-selling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human – a relentlessly surprising thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.


Author: Blake Crouch

Narrator: Jon Lindstrom

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publisher ltd

Length: 10 hours 8 mins

Audio Release Date: 11/08/2016

My Rating of ‘Dark Matter’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UKAudible USAmazon UKAmazon US



Dark Matter is one of those books that I have heard so many good things about from so many bloggers and just by seeing mass amounts of reviews in general on places like Goodreads, Audible and Amazon. I was first pointed towards Dark Matter after reading Abandon (also by Blake Crouch) and being told if I liked Abandon, I’d love Dark Matter.

I did. I loved it so much that one of the only things that disappointed me was that it wasn’t longer. There was also a slight bit of disappointment as far as the ending goes. A tad vague for my liking. I always do prefer a more complete ending for any book. Which, to be fair, isn’t what a lot of books offer. So many writers like to leave it open to a bit of reader interpretation.

Now; on with the love.

Firstly I enjoyed the narration. Jon Lindstrom is a very talented narrator and his performance only added value to the excitement of the piece. I’ll certainly be keeping a look out for other interesting audios by him.

Dark Matter was fantastic in so many ways. Not only did it keep the adrenaline pulsing with magnificent pacing, as a truly great thriller should, it had excellent character work put into it and a wonderful plot concept. It really makes the reader think about the ‘what ifs’ of other realities. Are there an infinite number of ourselves living alternate lives in realities that run parallel to our own?

Dark Matter it asks the question of ‘how would you react if one of those other versions of yourself decided they wanted to trade lives?’ What’s more, the fact that every reality is, to an extent, a roll of the dice as far as what Jason gets when he emerges into it, only fuels the enjoyment as far as being a reader and the despair as far as the character goes. How can you find your world if you have the chance to appear in any one of an infinite amount?

I can’t claim I’m overly clued up on the science that goes into this and, personally, I think that makes it more enjoyable. I can’t look too deep and try to nit-pick about certain theories or practices etc … I’m literally free to go with the flow and enjoy the wild ride Jason finds himself on.

There really isn’t a vast array of ‘different’ characters. Not named ones, anyway. However, due to the various different realities there are various different characters that appear across many said realities. Each having a vastly different life/character than every other. It all adds to the compact, yet vastly large world Blake Crouch has created across an infinite number of Chicagos.

I don’t often read/listen to thrillers and having done so with Dark Matter, it has me kind of wanting to delve back into the genre. I want that pulsating feeling of excitement that doesn’t come from the genres I usually read. Having said that, I have picked up the audio version of ‘Pines’ by Blake Crouch. He’s already hit two out of the park as far as I’m concerned. I’m hoping he carries on with a third.

24 thoughts on “Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – An Audio Book Review

      1. I’ve recently finished Blackwing and Ravencry, reviews will come soon..ish 😉 Now I’m going to check out Correia’s Monster Hunter International and Lee’s Jade City. I also have Stone’s Dog Soldiers on my shelf, watching me accusingly, but I need a break from the Vietnam War before I go back to it 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, Witcher – definitely recommended! You can check out our reviews to get the extent of our hype for them, as far as I remember they don’t contain spoilers (almost ;))

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have read The Last Wish and loved that. A few guys at work suggest I read those before re-starting the Witcher 3 video game. I will have a look at your reviews before I start them. They are a short way down my list and trying hard not to get too excited for them 🙈

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  1. I enjoyed this very much, and even if there were a few details that did not convince me completely, I was able to focus on them only *after* finishing the book: while the story was unfolding I could not tear myself away from it, which means that the author is a talented storyteller. And that’s more than enough, indeed… 🙂

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      1. I found that the main character was always unfailingly “good”, despite finding himself in dire circumstances, while his alter-egos seemed invariably ruthless and ready to resort to bloody murder to achieve the life they wanted: to me that was a little too hard to accept, but this thought came to me *after* I finished the book, because the story was so compelling that while reading I did not stop to think about it…

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  2. I’ve got this on my TBR and look forward to reading it sooner rather than later too. I’ve only seen great things, mostly, about it and look forward to finding out why! Have you heard of Crouch’s next novel, Recursion? I wonder if he’ll be able to deliver after Dark Matter’s insane success? 😀 Great review though! Glad you loved it so much.


  3. Yay! Glad you finally got the chance to read/listen to it and that you loved it! 🙂 I quote liked the book myself although my small niggle was the ‘romancey’ element- if memory serves right, it was just too mushy BUT having said that the subject matter is definitely a good one and thought provoking with the multiple/alternate dimensions!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You make a fair point about the motivation! Hmm… 🙂
        Nope, haven’t read anything else by the author as yet but I have been planning to give the Wayward pines a go myself… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good ! any book that reads good is a blessing! hahaha… I am currently on The Grey Bastards! It’s… hmm… it has it’s super duper great moments for sure, but I haven’t fully decided yet…

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