Dark Matters by Michael Dow

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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“Forget the one percent. It just takes one.

Dark Matters is set in a not-too-distant future of extreme income inequality, where a select few of the über-elite have the resources and cutting-edge technologies to choose what’s best for the rest of humanity. Are they committed to saving a world gone wrong? Or simply bent on perpetuating their new status quo?

In this first book of the trilogy, a new CEO takes over the world’s largest corporate conglomerate. But the job comes with an unexpected twist–an invitation to join the Consortium, the small group of global elite who quietly rule the world. The deeper he dives into his new role, the harder it becomes to distinguish between right and wrong.

At the same time, a headstrong art curator is beset by a series of visions, putting her squarely in the crosshairs of the Consortium. From a life-changing moment in a crowded Singapore marketplace, to the business end of an assassin’s gun, she struggles to understand their meaning, and to topple the status quo. In order to succeed, she needs help from the strangers in her visions, including a renegade physicist determined to unravel the century-old mystery of dark matter, and its role in our universe. Together, they might just break the Consortium’s stranglehold – if they don’t strangle each other first.”

Okay… I have conflicted thoughts about this one but I think it is mostly my fault. Indeed if before requesting this book from Netgalley I had read the full synopsis, I probably won’t have pick it up. I think that I only saw the ““Forget the one percent. It just takes one.” which is pretty intriguing line and it got me hooked. I was expecting a story of a man fighting over a huge corporation that was ruling the world, however it is a story that follows mostly three different main characters, the first one is Rudy the new CEO of GRI, one of the largest and most powerful company in the world mentionned first in the synopsis, the second one is Monique Durand an art dealer who has strange visions about people and places, and the last one is Jonas Hanssen, a physicist working for GRI and studying dark matter.

So I did not quite grasp the fact that it was not 100% a scifi book because one the main characters have visions and telekinesic abilities. And for me those are paranormal stuff, which doesn’t mean in any way that it makes it a bad book but it wasn’t what I expected going in… When those elements were introduced I was a bit surprised to say the least. I don’t usually have lots of problem with powers and strange abilities as I almost only read fantasy, but when I start a SF book, I usually want it to be based on scientific stuff you know. 😉

Anyway, this was not my biggest complain, this book rubbed me the wrong way for two reasons.

First of all, I didn’t really liked how women were portrayed. I found that almost none of them had ‘real’ work,. I mean yes, Monique worked in a gallery but she was so rich she spent 98% of the book travelling around the world and spending her money on hotels . Also, Victoria, Rudy’s wife, only took care of the children and went to social events. But for me the worst female representation probably was Kat. She was a graduate student in physics, introduced as a brilliant student at first. However as soon as she met Hanssen, the other physicist always described as “the passionated man who could only think with his guts”, he almost immediately fall in love with her and starts telling her all of his company’s secret . Not really because she was that brilliant but most of all because she was hot. Oh and he also offered her a position in his company. Of course, because she is his “luck charm” after all.Ugh.

My second problem with this book was the pacing and how convenient everything was. For example, Monique, the one with the paranormal abilities, has visions about different people and she feels that she has to find them. So she leaves on a quest which sounds pretty complicated since some of her visions take place in Singapore and Egypt. You may think that it will take ages for her to find those persons. As a matter of fact, no. She always finds them in less about 5 pages once she is the country. Of course. Totally believable.

Also, the plot felt rushed in a lot of place and things just go to ‘smoothly’, there was no real challenge . Another thing that I did not like about the pacing was the fact that during more than half of the book, I still did not know where the story was going. I don’t mind it at the beginning up until a third of the book but after that, I kind of want to know why I’m reading something.

However, it was not a complete disaster . The writing was good and it all flowed pretty easily. It was a pretty quick read and some passages were really good. The ending was also pretty interesting and some of the technologies created in this near-future novel were completely believable which was great to see.

I don’t see myself reading the sequel but if you like near-future dystopian with paranormal elements, that might be something you’ll enjoy.

★★ 1/2

This book will come out on February 2016 from 128 Publishing

 

 

 

 

 

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