A grungy, grim novella, set in a run-down seaside town. It’s described as a psychological thriller, but it didn’t have the genre’s characteristics. The narrative perspective, which is of a middle-aged man looking back a few decades to being 17 years old, gave a nostalgic haze to the story and weakened any suspense. There wasn’t a mystery to pull me in and even halfway through I felt it wasn’t going anywhere.
The story is about a teenage boy who isn’t getting anywhere much with his girlfriend, when he starts hanging out with Natasha, a promiscuous girl who uses drugs, is a heavy metal fan and is repeatedly described as having flat / dead eyes. He cares about her, she doesn’t seem to care about him, yet she has sex with him. There is a lot of graphic stuff in the book, particularly drug taking, a horrible scene involving a fox, and the unnamed narrator’s hook-ups with Natasha (the writing in these was a bit cringeworthy… and referring to someone’s genitalia as their ‘sex’? Yuck). There are also graphic descriptions of suicide. So, a lot of content warnings. The writing style is quite wordy and is stuffed with similes, which didn’t appeal to me either.
In summary, this book wasn’t for me. It’s a coming of age story, as the blurb promised, but it’s not a thriller. However, I’m sure the right kind of reader will enjoy it.
Published by Grey Matter Press, 2021. Part of The Write Reads tour. Thank you to the publisher and The Write Reads for the advance copy.
4 thoughts on “Review of ‘The Dark Matter of Natasha’ by Matthew R Davis”
It was not at all what I expected. A very different kind of book.
I think it may be mis-marketed… I was sorry not to give a positive review, as it had sounded like the kind of book I’d enjoy. However, I’m always honest so I had to say what it’s really about.
I still haven’t written mine. I feel like I’ve been so harsh with the blog tour books lately but I genuinely haven’t found them to be for me. Oh, well 😔
It’s pretty hard to write a negative review of a blog tour book in particular. I actually rarely do blog tours but this book did sound like it was my kind of thing as it was marketed as a thriller, which it really wasn’t.