When I was reading Dark Matter, I said to a friend who was worried that I was bored (long story, irrelevant to this review), “no way, because I love my book right now! It’s got car chases, and alternate universes, and multiplicity, and science, and action, and adventure!” I’m not kidding, I had a total blast reading this book, and couldn’t wait to get back to it every time I had to put it down.
It’s not life-altering literary fiction. But they can’t all be. And this is complicated enough, theoretical-physics-wise, that it almost out-thought me a couple of times. I’m not a scientist, but boy do I love science fiction, and this checks all of those boxes for me. It’s action-packed, emotionally driven, and the narrator has a very clear mission that is challenging enough to sustain a whole lot of tension.
Where it loses me is with the foundation of the mission, which is Lurve. I regret to inform the author that by doing the right thing and getting to the action pretty quickly before we have a chance to get bored, he failed to convince me that when Jason is ripped from his reality and also his true, original family, that family is worth fighting to return to at all costs. I need convincing: I won’t just believe that love trumps everything else, because I’m a grown-up that’s lived in the world long enough to know that things change, and the devil is in the details. In the end, Crouch’s set-up undercuts his conclusion. Without getting spoilery, that’s as much as I can say: I loved reading it, but also didn’t totally buy it.