I had the chance to receive a copy of the book Dark Matter by Black Crouch in exchange for an honest review. And I was reluctant at first, I mean I hate to judge a book by the cover, but there was something jarring about the bold red and the dark text. So it sat on a shelf for a while until a exhausted my stack of "to be read" from the library. It was the long Labor Day weekend, and knowing that this book was there, I started reading it.
Now, you are first introduced to Jason who has a normal evening with his wife and son, Charlie. Until his wife convinces him to go see an old friend who is celebrating his recently received prestigious award at a local, nearby bar. Jason goes to say hello and congratulate his friend, but he doesn't stay long at the bar. He leaves with the slight twinge of resentment and maybe even regret over his own choices with his life and career. Walking the long way home though, brings him back to center a little bit, until he senses the presence of someone. When the masked gunman prods him to get into Jason's own car, telling him to drive, his life isn't the same after that.
This is just the beginning in this intense thriller. Just as the description says, before Jason blacks out, someone asks him, "Are you happy?" The answer to that question is the core of the story.
I read a review that said that you can't describe this book without giving things away. And I kind of agree. So I won't launch into a more descriptive review here, but I will summarize how I felt by saying this is a very unique and amazing thriller that I was very impressed by. I read it (nearly) one day, except I savored the ending over the course of two days because I hated seeing this come to an end. This book made me think about all the decisions I've made in my own life that brought me to where I am and makes me wonder that very question myself, "Am I happy? What would I change if I could?" It's science fiction but the science doesn't distract or confuse me. The characters are strong and the core plot of the story kept me enthralled to the end. The bizarre situations this main character finds himself in are very vivid and real feeling, despite the weirdness. Plenty of people seemed to criticize the writing and I didn't have any issues with it. I felt like the short sentences helped build upon the pressure and intensity of the moments and actions in the story.