The One by John Marrs

By Megan Bosarge

In our technology governed world, the use of online dating apps has become a widely accepted way to find love. It used to be that you had to create an account, set up a lengthy profile, pay a hefty sum and hope you didn’t wind up in a bathtub full of ice missing an organ or two. But today, people have grown comfortable with their own social media presence. We are used to putting our faces and even our personal information out there for the world to see. It has become inconvenient and even awkward to approach somebody at a bar or take your friend up on that offer to blindly date their single coworker. With online dating apps, a simple swipe of a finger grants you access to all you need to know about a person, before even having to buy them dinner. What could be better?

This reality sets the stage for John Marrs’ sci-fi thriller, The One. Ellie, a young and ambitious geneticist has discovered a gene that can match us with our one true love. With a small sample of saliva and a nominal fee of €9.99, you can learn the identity of your match; the man or woman you are destined to fall instantly, head-over-heels in love with. With a 99% success rate and more people being matched every day, MatchYourDNA has stolen the success of dating apps such as Tinder and Grinder and made binge dating a thing of the past. But, there’s a catch… there’s always a catch. 

What if you had already found the person you believed to be the one? Would you take the test just to be sure? This is the case of Sally, who convinces her fiance, Nick, to take the test weeks before they walk down the aisle. You know, just to be sure. 

Or what if you arrived at the address of your match to find a memorial service? Mandy despairs when she realizes she was just a little too late. 

Or worse, what if everything about your match is perfect, but there’s a deeper and darker secret lurking beneath? Amy doesn’t realize that the killer she’s been tracking down for months is sitting just across the table from her… and she is falling hopelessly in love with him. 

Each one of these journeys is complicated when the MatchYourDNA database is hacked, creating inaccurate DNA matches, and people begin to wonder if the passion they feel for their match was just a placebo effect. 

With a page turning, multiple protagonist narrative, Marrs creates a world not so different from our own and preys on the thing we all want most, love. The One will make you question how much faith you put into technology and to what extent you let it take the place of your own free will.  

Categories: Book Reviews

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