Friday, February 17, 2017

Try It, You Might Like It #6: Science Fiction

"Try it, you might like it" - it's what someone says when they present you with some food you've never had before or your mom wants you to try on some clothes she picked out for you.  I'm using it here on the blog as inspiration to choose books in genres I don't normally read; to branch out from my reading comfort zones; and to maybe find some new favorites!

For this installment, I've chosen science fiction.  Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (2016) has been on my radar for a few months now, but I was hesitant to read it because it's labeled as science fiction.  I'm not a big science/math person, so I often just feel confused/frustrated/annoyed with books that have too much focus on those topics.  But, this book was also described as being a thriller and a love story, so I wanted to try it out.

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.  Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe. - from Goodreads

Guys, this was just... wow.  Even if you don't think you're a science fiction fan, I think you need to read this book.  Jason Dessen is a physics professor with a beloved wife and son.  After being abducted, he wakes up in a strange place surrounded by people who claim to know him - but he's never met them before.  He escapes to find that his home looks completely different, he isn't married to his wife, and his son doesn't exist.  Is he dreaming?  Does he have a brain tumor that has altered his perception of reality?  Is someone playing an elaborate hoax on him?

I don't want to talk too much more about the plot and spoil it, because finding out what truly is going on is really the essence of the book and just the most fantastic twist.  It does get a bit science-y, but even I could understand what the characters were talking about, and I loved it.  Every few chapters I would say to my husband, "Guess what's happening NOW?"  This book would be totally up his alley.

As I said before, this book is more than just science fiction - it's also a thriller that I could not stop reading.  I literally read this book in a few hours.  The short, staccato sentences kept the story moving, and I had to know what would happen next.  I loved Jason as a character - I felt invested in his journey, and I was rooting for him.  I was really impressed by his ability to remain mostly calm and really think through his situation and the next steps to take.

And then there's the love story - Jason and his wife have been married for years, and they have such a great relationship.  They really do seem to love each other more now than they did when they first met.  Finding his wife and son is Jason's top priority, and I just loved his focus.  Even when things seemed dire, his only thoughts are of them and how to get back to them.

16 comments:

  1. Yay! Glad to hear you loved it. I am on hold for this audio at the library. Sounds awesome even though not my typical read.

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    1. OMG, it was so good!! I hope you love it!

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  2. This sounds so good! Adding it to my list...

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    1. I really think you will love this one! James might like it, too.

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  3. I'm in the middle of this book now - so I'm not reading your full review. My husband and I started listening to it together on a road trip, and then we listened separately on our phones using Audible. He finished it the next day, but I have other audiobooks going, so it's been a little slower. He loved it and is anxious to talk about it. I am definitely enjoying it. I'm so happy to have picked a book he loved. I do read some science fiction, so it's not my first book in the genre, but I agree it's a good introduction. It's pretty mild on the Sci Fi. Kind of like The Martian. Have you read that?

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    1. I think my husband would love this one, too. If a movie is ever made, he will be all over it.

      I have read The Martian, and I loved it. I saw the movie first, so I read the whole book with Matt Damon's voice in my head!

      I think these both would be great picks for someone who wants to try sci fi without being overwhelmed.

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  4. I've been thinking about this one since I saw it at BEA last May. It seems like it's one of those books that transcends it's genre. Like a Gone Girl did for Adult Thriller or Stephen King books did for Adult Horror.

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    1. Yes, I would definitely say it can't be put it any one specific category. It really does have broad appeal. It's science fiction, in parts, but it's also so much more.

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  5. OMG! That beginning has me hooked!! MUST READ THE BOOK NOW! I am a total science fiction fan so I think I'll really like it :) Great review <3

    Uma@Books.Bags.Burgers.

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  6. Wow this sounds great. Another one to add to the TBR

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  7. I thought this was excellent! It's almost more of a thriller than science fiction though obviously the SF element is there- but it was so readable!

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    1. I definitely agree that it belongs in more than one genre! It has a very broad appeal.

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  8. I've been seeing this book everywhere! I'm not usually a huge sci-fi fan but this sounds fantastic!

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    1. It was so great, I would highly recommend it!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!