by Blake Crouch
Jason Dessen has a good life. He's married to a beautiful woman, has a great son, and a stable career as a physics professor at a small college in Chicago. Although, every once in a while, he wonders what his life would have been like if he hadn't made the decision so many years ago, to marry and leave the demanding and exciting world of scientific research behind.
One evening, having been sent out to buy ice cream, Jason is abducted by a man wearing a mask. The man asks him some enigmatic questions about whether he's happy with his life and drugs him. When he wakes up, he's greeted by a group of men he doesn't know, but who treat him as if they've known him for years and who welcome him back like he's been gone for a long time. He quickly learns that the life he woke up to is not the life he was living before the man abducted him. His wife, Daniela, is not his wife, they never got married and had a son together, an he's a highly-esteemed atomic physicist, who has accomplished his life's work and tapped into a part of the universe never before experienced.
Dark Matter is a fast-moving, mind-bending story that draws on many of the best concepts that make science fiction so entertaining and thought-provoking. My one criticism of Crouch--and it's a small one--is that I wish he had slowed down occasionally and more-fully explored some of the philosophical and metaphysical concepts he was using in his narrative. The book gives you a lot to think about, and many times as I was reading it, my mind would start to stray and think about the universe Crouch created, but I felt like I couldn't stop and think about it, or I'd get left behind by the story as it continued on without me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★