* This review is based on an advanced reading copy. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read the book in exchange for an honest review *
Wow. I started this book yesterday, and could not put it down until I was at least halfway through. Dark Matter is not for those who are just looking for a light read, but something that invokes you to question everything existing in your world at this moment. Let me try to begin to explain my thought process through this book by first explaining the plot and characters.
Our protagonist is Jason Dessen, an undergraduate physics teacher who gave up a promising career in research on superposition to be a husband and father fifteen years ago. He always thought about the choice he made when his girlfriend, Daniela, told him that she was pregnant after they had been dating for a few short months. He always believed that this choice defined his career, but he never regretted starting a family, and loves his life the way it is. Pretty normal so far, right?
This all changes on a night that seemed like any other when Jason was held at gunpoint and woke up after being knocked unconscious from an injection in a world where everyone seemed to expect him, but it wasn't his life. These people knew him even though he had never seen them before, his house was different, he didn't have a wife or child and he realized that he needed to find out what happened and how to get back to his old life.
I don't want to give anything major away, so I'll just say that the major twist, or what you may think is the reasoning behind his awakening into another world is beyond what most of these used-up dystopia plots are. There is a plausible scientific explanation for Jason's condition, which he further understands as he tries to make his way back to his ordinary life that he loves so much.
This is a book that will make you think about every choice you've made, and how different the outcome would be today if you had decided to turn in another direction, and how different you may be as well. Our choices define us, and we are always wondering if they are the right ones or sometimes live in such a deep regret that we wish there was a way in which we could turn back time and change things (no, this is not a time travel novel).
Overall, I know I'll probably read this again when it comes out and quite a few times after, particularly when I feel that my life is too ordinary or when I'm feeling full of regret, but I highly recommend that everyone reads this book. At the very least, it's entertaining.