Sunday, February 18, 2018

The One

The One by John Marrs
Hanover Square Press: 2/20/18
eBook review copy; 416 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9781335005106

The One by John Marrs is a recommended mix of a romance and a thriller.

Match Your DNA, a dating service, has developed a DNA test that promises participants it will find The One - your perfect match, the one partner for you, the one you are genetically made for, your soul mate. Since it began ten years ago, millions of people across the world have submitted their DNA and let the computer program find their perfect match. Of course, this has also resulted in the breakup of marriages and families. It has also changed the whole concept of finding your perfect partner. Since the test finds your perfect match, with a reported 99.9% accuracy, the whole concept of dating, romance, and love has changed.

Five different people in this story have received the notification that they’ve been "Matched" and they are meeting their genetic soul mates. These five people are Mandy, Christopher, Jade, Nick, and Ellie. The novel then consists of short, fast-paced chapters sequentially jumping from one characters story to the next... and repeat. Each chapter frequently ends with a cliff-hanger. What it felt like was a soap opera. We have the over-arching theme that they have all submitted their DNA to find The One and have been matched. Then we follow their ongoing individual stories. Each story has its own drama and propagates related questions based on the match and the choices the individuals make.

The stories of each individual and their match are interesting, but not as interesting as the original concept and not exactly grist for a thriller.
Quite frankly, many of the individual stories shambled along and were basically predictable. There were few surprises. None of the couple's stories intersect, so readers can jump ahead freely.  There are a few intriguing questions, such as does a DNA match with your soul mate really mean your match is the only one for you? Is there truly no free will or personal choices in the matter. And what about having two heterosexual man matched with each other? 

The writing is good. It is a quick read. The stories all start out with various degrees of strength, and then dawdle along for the most part. I appreciated how most of the stories were concluded. The plots in the individual stories were all bit too melodramatic/soap operish for me. I was also never convinced that a DNA test (no real scientific explanation is given) could predict a soul mate. So many people liked this novel more than me I'm thinking the difference is the romance novel part. I don't read them, so I was hoping for more science fiction.
Those of you who like science fiction may want to by-pass this one since the science is incidental while the match-making melodrama is in the forefront.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Hanover Square Press

No comments: