Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Book Review: Dark Matter


January 1937. Clouds of war are gathering over a fogbound London. Twenty-eight year old Jack is poor, lonely and desperate to change his life. So when he's offered the chance to join an Arctic expedition, he jumps at it. Spirits are high as the ship leaves Norway: five men and eight huskies, crossing the Barents Sea by the light of the midnight sun. At last they reach the remote, uninhabited bay where they will camp for the next year. Gruhuken.

But the Arctic summer is brief. As night returns to claim the land, Jack feels a creeping unease. One by one, his companions are forced to leave. He faces a stark choice. Stay or go. Soon he will see the last of the sun, as the polar night engulfs the camp in months of darkness. Soon he will reach the point of no return - when the sea will freeze, making escape impossible.
 
And Gruhuken is not uninhabited. Jack is not alone. Something walks there in the dark...



Dark Matter is a book I've wanted to read for the longest time. I like a good creepy story and I haven't read a good one in quite a while. It's not a very long book but it does manage to pack a lot in.

A team of five men are quickly wittled down to three on an expedition to the Artic, the trip seems to bring bad luck right from the start. Then there's the Norweigen captain who seems insistent that they camp anywhere but Gruhuken but won't say why and after helping the men sat up their camp he makes a very hasty retreat. Soon the small team experience more bad luck and Jack is left at Gruhuken on his own, when daylight no longer exists and something walks outside the cabin and invades his dreams.

By far the best part of the book is the descriptive language used. Paver's descriptions of the Arctic landscape and of Gruhuken are excellent and they made this book a pleasure to read. Next up is that is does actually manage to build a good bit of tension at many parts I found myself hastily reading line after to line to found out what was going to happen quicker. It's only let down is that it doesn't do much in the way of character building, for most of the book, Jack is pretty much the only character so I expected to know a lot more about him than what I did by the end. If the characters would have had as much description as the landscape this would have been an excellent book. None the less I enjoyed it and would say it's worth a read.

Rating: ★★

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