THE ONE by John Marrs


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Marrs’ debut novel traces the stories of five people who find their soul mates—or do they?

Imagine if you could submit to a simple DNA test and then receive your Match in your email. Not just an online date who might be geographically compatible, but a true and unique genetically destined partner. While the potential long-term benefits may seem to outweigh the negative consequences, the system is far from infallible; as any science-fiction fan could tell you, if it sounds too good to be true, there’s usually a catastrophe lurking at the other end. Marrs’ novel traces five individuals who meet their Matches under varying circumstances and with widely conflicting outcomes. During the course of their romantic adventures (and misadventures), the entire DNA matching algorithm will prove to be susceptible to hacking, also proving that (gasp!) just because something may be driven by science doesn’t mean that it’s free from the world of human error. The philosophy posed by the novel speaks not just to the power of love and the laws of attraction, but also serves as a commentary on today’s world of genetic exploration. Do these breakthroughs simplify our lives, or do they make us lazy, replacing the idea of “destiny” or “fate” with “science” as a larger power that we don’t need to question? These ideas keep the novel moving along and create a deeper level of interest, since most of the narrative threads are fairly predictable. The two exceptions are the psychopathic serial killer who meets his Match and begins to lose interest in killing and the heterosexual man matched with another man, both of whom must then redefine sexuality and love, commitment and family.

Will simultaneously intrigue both romantics and skeptics. The science might oversimplify, but it’s gripping enough to read all in one sitting.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-335-00510-6
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2018


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