The most I can say for this is it’s a fast read. Honestly, I can barely remember anything about the plot beyond me being mad I was continuing to read it because I knew I was close to being done and could just power through. The pull quotes on the back are from such big authors — Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Andy Weir, Justin Cronin — that I was expecting a pretty groundbreaking sci-fi thriller, but I wasn’t impressed. It moves quickly but maybe I’ve just read enough sci-fi to not be blown away by the power of one idea. Sometimes a writer will have a strong idea and then take it too far, and it felt like that’s what happened here. Some ideas are more suited to a short story and this felt stretched beyond its original form. I also wasn’t that impressed by the writing, which was a lot of short dialogue and sentences, to the point where the formatting looks like free verse poetry. It just felt very rote — I guessed from the beginning what was going on and none of the twists and turns felt original. That was kind of jarring considering that Harlan Coben said this was “truly original,” and far be it for me to start questioning Harlan Coben, but I personally felt the opposite.
Dark Matter starts with Jason Dessen, a college physics professor, being kidnapped and waking up in another world where he’s a celebrated inventor but doesn’t have his wife and son. He then has to figure out who kidnapped him and how he can get back to his family. There are some interesting questions in here about personhood and the consequences of the choices we make, but it didn’t click for me. I’m not against thrillers and honestly do enjoy them, but this felt like it was written in order to sell a movie and for ease of being turned into a screenplay. From looking at his author blurb, he is a screenwriter so that makes sense. Overall, a disappointment for me and a forgettable read.