Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch

dark matter by blake crouchSeries: Standalone
Genre: Science Fiction
Published: July, 2016
Goodreads | Amazon CA US UK | Audible

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

*ahem* Uh, hello! Katelynn here. Yup, that’s all I’m giving you – because that’s all I was told to read (less, actually.. but I’ll be nice). Do yourself a favour and go into this one blind. 

… Trust me.


Katelynn’s Review

Rating:  5 / 5
Format: Hardcover
Started: January 26th, 2016
Finished: January 26th, 2016
Wine Pairing:
 A big glass of whiskey. Or vodka. Just… something strong because HOLY FUCK, YOU GUYS!

“We’re all just wandering through the tundra of our existence, assigning value to worthlessness, when all that we love and hate, all we believe in and fight for and kill for and die for is as meaningless as images projected onto Plexiglass.”

Angsty, intricate, infinite, unexpected: I stepped into the world of Jason Dessen with no expectations and an open mind and was given the universe in return. There are some books that you try to stay ahead, to guess the ending and what’s around every corner, and there are some books that you just give up and enjoy the ride and hope for the best (this one). Sometimes you get the best, sometimes the ending isn’t the best but it’s right, and sometimes it’s both (also this one). “That’s a tad contradictive, isn’t it?” you may ask. And yes, indeed it is. It’s contradictive and also in total agreement with itself while managing to be exactly everything I needed when I opened to the first page.

So future reader, seeing as I refuse to tell you anything about what happens inside these perfectly pruned pages let me instead tell you more about how this book feels – how it sits in your soul and picks away at the rusty walls you’ve built up through misuse and extended periods of time in stale office cubicles.

Starting in on the first chapter is like the moment a movie or TV show piques your interest out of the corner of your eye when all you’re looking for is a glass of water. It’s the moment you catch the eyes of a passerby and for just a moment the world stops, and the moment when your stomach taps on the backs of your teeth when the earth drops out from beneath you on a missing stair. It’s standing on the edge of a cliff and staring down, wondering if the ground will hold and wondering what it would be like to after the jump. It’s staring up into a midnight crusted sky with weary but hopeful eyes, knowing you are even smaller than the poets say you really are. It’s the unknown and the known, it’s pain and hope fearlessly crushed together, and it’s love – simple and true. You stumble upon big bangs and black holes and wander through countless corridors, and then suddenly when a world of black and white starts to find a speck of colour from a rip in your finger –

– it ends.

At least the words do, but the thoughts and ideas and emotions don’t leave. No, they linger and swirl around inside like rich wine held by dainty fingers and thin glass. They remain. Gentle satin caresses and sandpaper kisses, Dark Matter is worlds of small moments that make all the difference to yours.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”

Thank you again and again, Ayesha, for recommending Dark Matter! ♥ I’m glad this review didn’t take months to write but it did take an entire pot of coffee and hours or procrastination.
…And cake. For breakfast.

Have you read Dark Matter? What books have left you with wordless emotions and images of feeling instead of adjectives and grammar?

The Martian, by Andy Weir

weir the martianSeries: Standalone
Genres:
 Fiction, Action/Thriller, Humor
Published: 2011
Goodreads | Amazon

“Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

“After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive — and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

“Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills — and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength – he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

“As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive – but Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

“Grounded in real, present-day science from the first page to the last, yet propelled by a brilliantly ingenious plot that surprises the reader again and again, The Martian is a truly remarkable thriller: an impossible-to-put-down suspense novel that manages to read like a real-life survival tale.”


Katelynn’s Review

Rating:  5 / 5
Format: Paperback
Started:  September 4th, 2015
Finished:  October 10th, 2015
Wine Pairing:  Water.  Sorry, but I felt guilty for not appreciating a glass of water with this book after everything Mark went through.

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.  And I am so glad I read The Martian before I saw the movie because (no shocker) IT’S SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE MOVIE.

The movie isn’t bad – it’s actually ridiculously accurate to the books –  but as it’s written in first person most of the time, there’s only so much you can put into a movie that is filmed in third person.  No one’s to blame for missing details, it happens.

REGARDLESS, you need to read this book.

Seriously.

I’m not sure if the science is perfect (I’m always skeptical that everything’s been made up, but I trust that is isn’t because Andy Weir is a certified engineer himself) but I absolutely loved the character of Mark Watney.  From the beginning, he has you rooting for him right to the end.  Especially when you have to suffer through Disco music with him – I feel your pain.

I recommend this if you feel isolated.  I recommend this if you like Science-Fiction.  I recommend this if you like Doctor Who (hello Mars!).  I also recommend this if you like Mars.

Or science.

Or are going to be/are an Engineer.

If you are an Engineer, tell me how you like this.

For everyone else, I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I did.