Dark Matter by Blake Crouch // Book Review

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⭐️⭐️⭐️

Um, so this book was awesome. Look, I don’t mean to throw shade on books targeted towards adults but they tend to fall into the same tropes as any other demographic. Usually, (in really general terms) there’s a guy who’s married and is somewhat dissatisfied with his banal life. He longs for the stimulation of the unexpected. Lo and behold, that very wish is granted unbeknownst. His wife is murdered/kidnapped/has a secret life and it’s up to him to exact justice. Now this 9-5, blue collar man is the ultimate detective/hit man/spy. It plays into the fantasy that we can escape our lack luster existence and I don’t trash it. All I’m asking is for some self-awareness.

What I like about Dark Matter are Jason and Daniela. They have chemistry which works in their favor as the threat at hand becomes bigger than Jason can handle alone. There’s so much that could go wrong but Daniela does something unbelievable: she helps the plot and isn’t an obvious obstacle to have Jason overcome. Maybe I’m putting the bar quite low but I appreciate that she’s not a throwaway character. She matters and has speaking parts and has her own thoughts! On the same spectrum, Jason doesn’t completely change. He’s not the one who knocks.

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Jason remains true to his character even if it may cost him everything. He contemplates all of the choices he could choose and decides that he has to transcend his Jason-ness to become the ULTIMATE JASON. In a way, it’s fitting how everything turns out.

So why can’t I give this raving reviews? The writing certainly bogs down the whole operation. It’s cheesy and riddled with cliches that belong in inspirational Facebook posts. The first couple of chapters had me fooled that it would be another mediocre escapist fantasy of a middle aged man going through a mid-life crisis. In some ways, that juxtaposition to the oncoming shit storm is perfect. The ending was a bit blasé and the insertion of “woke” diatribes in between the journeying was thinly veiled and superficial. It wasn’t until the endgame that I was truly annoyed and wanted Jason to face reality instead of shutting himself in his echo chamber of incredulity.

In the end, I still recommend.

 

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Yes. I live for this condensed rounded san serif. That negative space that’s also rounded and squared. I can’t breathe, it’s so beautiful. The cropping is just right. The splicing and duplication makes me want to cry in joy. I am afraid and mystified. That red is so saturated that it alludes sinister intent. 1000 points to Gryffindor for sneaking in “a novel” in between the chaotic shapes! It’s too good.

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