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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy - “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 …

Dark Matter

by Blake Crouch

Overall Book Review:

Well-written and incredibly fast-paced, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch packs a punch. This sci-fi thriller will get readers’ attention with its non-stop action, original plot, and poignant love story. Crouch crafts an adrenaline-packed world where every choice matters — and the technology is both wondrous and terrifying. The science fiction genre can often be confusing and seem overly technical to the casual reader, but Crouch explains terms and ideas skillfully and with good clarity. Dark Matter is filled with frequent twists and turns, and half the fun in reading the book is trying to figure out what will happen next. The novel’s main character had a surprising depth and likability to him. With an equally satisfying ending, Dark Matter provides a memorable ride. 

Review of an Advance Reader’s Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  23 religious exclamations; 16 mild obscenities; 3 religious profanities; 1 derogatory names; 15 scatological words; 10 anatomical terms; 2 offensive hand gestures; 33 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  Several implied occurrences of violence including kidnapping, a character contemplating murder and verbal threats; secondhand reports of violence including murder and physical violence; several brief scenes of violence involving gunshots, pistol whippings, severed fingers and attempted murder; a few non-detailed scenes of violent death including a car accident and gunshots; a brief scene of blood and gore from descriptions of a gunshot wound; a few brief scenes of intense violence including gunshots and stabbings. 

Sex/Nudity:  Multiple incidents of kissing; a few non-sexual depictions of nudity when a character is forced to undress and change clothes; a few sexual references including used contraceptives and fear of sexual assault; a brief scene involving touching and caressing; a few incidents of reported sexual activity; a few brief scenes of sexual activity without explicit details between adults.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death by starvation, disease, murder, postpartum depression, drug and alcohol use, terminal illness, smoking.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A few scenes take place at a bar; characters frequently inject themselves with drugs; characters drink wine on occasion; character drinks a whole pint of liquor; characters are drunk; a man is drugged; characters smoke weed; a man smokes a cigarette; a character’s past drug use is mentioned. 

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.