Thursday, 12 October 2017

Review: Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

Dark Matter is a ghost story with a difference. Instead of the traditional haunted house, it takes place on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in the middle of an Arctic winter - four months of complete darkness.

The story is told in the form of a journal written in 1937 by Jack Miller. Impoverished by misfortune, he feels he's missed out on fulfilling his dream of being a physicist and jumps at the chance to go on an Arctic expedition. But one by one each member of his team falls by the wayside and soon he is left completely alone in the snowy wilderness. Or is he?

"Gruhuken seems to have had a dismal past. I don't want any of it poking through."

Dark Matter is not the kind of thing I usually read (Arctic expedition, etc) but I absolutely loved it. The style of writing, the incredible detail about life in the Arctic - the amount of research the author must have undertaken! Menace is slowly built up, layer upon layer, until the shocking truth of what happened at Gruhuken is revealed. My nerves were shredded.

If you're looking for a thoroughly chilling (in more ways than one!) Halloween read - this is it. Also, great illustrations! Recommended!

Note: The book is shorter than it looks. On Kindle it ended at 85%. The remainder is made up of the author's notes (fascinating!), a Q&A, and a sample of her next book.

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