Book Review: Dark Matter, Blake Crouch

It sure has been a while since I wrote a post about a book I’ve recently finished! It’s not entirely because I stopped reading, either. I actually started reading the Mr Mercedes trilogy by Stephen King, and by the time I got to writing about it I was half way through book 2, and thought I may as well do a whole post for the trilogy at that point. While I attempt to put my thoughts on it into words though, I managed to whizz through another book in less than a week, and I loved it so much I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about it!

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If you haven’t heard the name Blake Crouch, you might have heard of the TV Show Wayward Pines, based on a trilogy of books of the same name, written by, you guessed it, Blake Crouch! I’d like to read the trilogy at some point, but when I put my hit list together at the start of the year, Dark Matter was my Science Fiction pick. I’ve never read a Sci-Fi novel before so I was quite cautious, especially as I get quite baffled by the complexity of some Sci-Fi movies.

So what’s Dark Matter all about? Similar to Wayward Pines, the less you know the better, but I’ll fill you in as best as I can. Jason Dessen is an average, everyday man. He’s happily married to a beautiful wife, they have a Son together and live in a comfortable brownstone house in the city of Chicago. Jason had the potential when he was younger to be a brilliant scientist, and his wife Daniela was an aspiring artist, but they both had to give up their dreams when their child came along.

One night, as Jason is on his way home from a bar, he’s kidnapped, forced to drive to an abandoned warehouse, told to strip off and is attacked and injected with something that puts him out cold. He awakens in a laboratory filled with scientists congratulating him on his work. When he escapes, understandably confused, he realises the world he’s in isn’t his own. His home is there, but it isn’t his, Daniela is there, but she isn’t his wife.

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It’s that kind of book that grips you from the word go, thanks to this character Jason who is likeable and relatable in so many ways. Just when you think you’ve got a grip on what’s happening, the rug is pulled out from under your feet, and just when you think you’ve grasped the scientific elements to the story, something else is thrown at you that flummoxes you completely.

I was so hooked that I was reading every night until I quite literally fell asleep into my tablet screen!

I’ve since read that the movie rights have been bought, but nothing’s actually happened. I almost hope it stays that way. This book is far too complex to be packed into a 2-hour movie, but it would be fantastic to watch for sure. It would work so much better as a mini-series, something perhaps smaller than Fargo and a little bigger than The Night Manager.

Has anyone else read Dark Matter? What did you think?

Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition – Science Fiction

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To quote the great Father Christmas (in January, sorry) I’m making a list, I’m checking it twice. My first venture into Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks was kind of a disaster, seeings as I went off an out of date list and wrote about the wrong subject. Whoops. Fingers crossed I’ve got it right this week! Anyway, 2017 is an exciting year for Thursday Movie Picks because Wanderer has thrown in some Television Editions! This is the first of the year, Science Fiction.

Here are my favourites:

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Westworld (2016 – )

I hardly need an excuse to gush about Westworld, because in my opinion it was the best show on TV last year, and I won’t stop talking about it until everyone has made the effort to give it a go. Westworld is a Western-themed adventure park, in which ‘guests’ can pay thousands of dollars to visit and interact with the ‘hosts’, of whom are all robots. The guests are free to do as they wish in the park, they can murder, they can rape, and the hosts all have settings to stop them being being able to harm guests.

That alone is enough to make an amazing TV Show, but of course with any Artificial Intelligence theme, these hosts are becoming more and more self aware, and as time goes on, shenanigans ensue! There are so many twists and turns along the way, and that’s what makes Westworld such a great watch.

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Wayward Pines (2015 – )

I’ll admit, Season 2 of Wayward Pines wasn’t as good, and in fact it feels like a different show, but I absolutely loved Season 1! Basically, a Secret Service agent travels to a town called Wayward Pines to search for 2 of his colleagues who went missing. An accident happens along the way and he wakes up in the town, where everything is a little…off. There’s no phone signal, the residents are unwelcoming, and he can’t escape. Literally. Each episode answers a few questions, but just brings up even more, and it’s the kind of show that gets you making theories constantly!

I can’t explain how the Sci-Fi theme fits in without giving away some key plot points, but I promise you that it fits this theme perfectly. It’s based on a book trilogy of the same name by Blake Crouch, and I’d love to give them a read someday.

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3rd Rock from the Sun (1996 – 2001)

I can’t believe I’m saying (typing?) this, but I’m currently watching 3rd Rock from the Sun for the first time in my life. Why didn’t I watch this sooner? It’s got that perfectly crafted 90’s, literal humour that I just love. I’m 2 Seasons in so far, and the comedy in this show still holds up amazingly well. If you live under a rock like I clearly have been, this show revolves around a group of aliens who have traveled to Earth to learn about the planet’s inhabitants. In order to fit in, they have disguised themselves as a human family.

If you hate canned laughter, over dramatic sitcoms you’ll hate this, but I absolutely love them. Also, it’s one of the first big roles for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and it’s so funny to see him as a kid!

Now I’ll spend the rest of the day nervously refreshing my blog feed to see if I’ve got the subject right this week…