The best piece of sci-fi you’ll ever read!
I was browsing through an after-market bookshop when I stumbled on this book. I picked it up, not knowing what to expect. I guess it was the book’s unusual scientific title that got me to pick it up. Looking back, I can surely declare this book as one of my best literature discoveries. ‘Dark matter’ no doubt belongs to the sci-fi genre. But in truth, it’s much more than this. The drama, the suspense, the excitement, the characters, the scenes that it sets, the worlds that it takes you, the romance, the love, the morals - everything about this book is great!
A hint at the plot
Jason Dessen, married to Daniella and father of a teenage boy, is the protagonist. He teaches at a college though his plans in his twenties were to perform a breakthrough in quantum physics by superposing a macro-particle. But he was unsuccessful primarily because Daniella got pregnant and he had to leave his research for his girlfriend. Years passed and he loved his family but from time to time he’d think what if things could’ve worked out differently and what if he had made that major break-through. Well, buckle your seatbelts because that’s when the novel picks up speed. It takes this question and turns it over on its head.
“Are you happy with your life?”
These are the last words that Jason hears before he gets dropped in a sump. The book explores the consequence of decisions. The choices we make and how these choices define our lives. The novel is a play on theories on Infinite Reality. It takes an electrifying look into something beyond an average person’s understanding but still preserving the hint that it may just be true.
One night, on the way home from celebrating with his old roommate (another scientist), he’s kidnapped at gunpoint:
- “I know almost everything about you, Jason. You could say I’ve made your life my specialty.”
- “Who are you?”
…beaten and drugged.
I whisper, “Now what?”
And he says, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
And he wakes up in a laboratory.
Everyone around him appears to celebrate his arrival. All of them, scientists involved in a HUGE project. And he (according to them), being their head.
But he has no idea who they are, and can’t remember anything about how he got there. Or what project he’s supposed to be heading. But the more he learns, the more he realizes… it IS what he was working on, once upon a time. It’s WHAT was going to make him one of the most prominent scientists and discoverers of all time. He understands it all (it was exactly what he had once been working on). He just can’t remember it getting this far. Which of his realities are real? The one where he’s married to the love of his life or this one? Where he’s engaged with opportunities and success.
What this book achieves
This is the kind of book that makes you think. Makes you reflect on life, your decisions, circumstances that have shaped your journey. It’s about choices, and sometimes, the lack thereof. It’s got a bit of “The Butterfly Effect” feel to it with the whole “parallel universe” thing and the ability to manipulate your level of brain power, being able to change it all. The ability to make a different choice, and the outcome of each one of those choices.
At one point Jason states:
“It’s terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches off into a new world.”
This isn’t a time-travel novel, but rather a ‘split-through-space-but-still-yearn-to-be-together’ sort of love story.
It’s about the decisions we make that got us to where we are. This book preaches us to not regret a single choice in our life because ultimately that choice defines our life: who we are.
At the near end of the book when you thought the drama may finally be over and that the story’s just dragging now, but that’s where you’re wrong. That’s when the novel picks up its pace again and takes you through different action-scenes that’d make you clench your fists. From the start of the novel, right till the very end this book will keep you hooked. There’s this box in the storyline which sort of transports you to a reality that aligns with your mindset. Jason’s perspective is interesting:
“The box isn’t all that different from life. If you go in with fear, fear is what you’ll find.”
So.. Do I give it a read?
I understand if you’re thinking this to yourself because this isn’t a quick read (but not a quite long one either). But, if you ever get in the market of reading a sci-fi book: please give this a
read. This book is about coping with difficult decisions, sacrificing your goals for better ones, falling in love, committing, raising a teenager, letting go and reaching out.
In Jason’s words, this book is:
“For anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.”