Book Review: The One by John Marrs

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner the one you are genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

I had read other John Marrs books set in this same version of the world (The Passengers and The Minders) but until now had not gone back and read the book where it all started – The One. Not that you need to have read it to understand the others but they do make passing reference to it.

As I’ve come to expect from a John Marr’s novel this one moved at a fast pace, with multiple unexpected jolts along they way as we moved between several narrators.

The One was such a clever premise, a look into human nature and the decisions people would be prepared to make if they knew there was a ‘soulmate’ out there for them, another person who fully completed them. Would you get married without testing you compatibility? Leave your partner and kids if you were told your ‘one’ had been identified? What if your ‘one’ doesn’t want to meet you? I love how Marrs explores all the more unattractive aspects of human nature but also so of the brilliant bits too.

I really enjoyed all the characters we met who narrated The One, there was no viewpoint that I wanted to skip over or who I felt needed more time, it was perfectly balanced to tell the story.

A superb read combining elements from lots of different genres – science fiction, crime, romance and thriller its definitely one I recommend reading.