I was completely captivated by Dark Matter, an unexpectedly moving sci-fi thriller. Jason was a moderately happy family man who worked as a professor, but often thought about how his life could have been a bit better had he not married his wife when she discovered she was pregnant. He wondered how much more fulfilling his life could be if he had continued with his research, and whether his wife would have ever been a famous artist. He soon learned the answer to those questions, and so much more.
One night after celebrating with his friend after his friend received a prominent award, Jason was kidnapped and drugged by a masked man. When he awoke, Jason was in an alternate universe where the people around him knew him, but the life he knew wasn’t there. His home was decorated differently, his son wasn’t born, but his wife was a renowned artist, although they weren’t married. It was either an elaborate joke, or something very odd had happened. For the beginning of the novel, I wanted to know why Jason’s memories of his life weren’t matching up with the reality that everyone else was living. Once that was explained, then I wanted Jason to just get home.
As Jason jumped from one reality to another, his devotion to his wife and son became clear. They were the true happiness in his life. Although, I think the author should have given a lot of background into Jason’s relationship with his wife to move that point along. It seemed off that suddenly Jason realized how much he loved his family, when the progress of his relationship wasn’t explained in a lot of detail. But regardless, this was a very forward moving novel. The emphasis was on what was happening and what was going to happen with very little insight into the past.
Ultimately, Jason’s love for his family humanized Jason and gave what could have been a goofy sci-fi novel an emotional element that made this really enjoyable. This novel explored deep themes including the regret people carry with them for not making a certain decisions. It also expanded upon the age-old saying, you don’t know what you have until it is gone. For Jason, that was too true.
This was thrilling and bizarre and lovely all at the same time. I was so entertained by this! I would highly recommend it even for those who don’t like sci-fi.