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
My review copy was courtesy of Hanover Square Press.