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Issue 5; A Thousand Small Explosions by John Marrs -The Review

by T W Coombs

If you could take a test that matched you with the love of your life no matter who they were, where they were from, or age, or race, would you? And what effect would it have on you? Well that is what the third book by author and freelance writer John Marrs is all about.

This is not the usual book I would go for, I mainly read horror and fantasy and some space based sci-fi (I know, nerd alert) and the occasional thriller, with a bit of crime, but after an article I read by John Marrs on self-publishing it got him on my radar so when this book came up I thought I’d give it a go out of support.

Now, where to put this as a genre, it is a thriller, romance and even modern day sci-fi all wrapped up into one. It also hits on the view of the society we live in and how far we would go for true love or the concept of it, with the amount of dating sites and apps that many have in their lives.  Even at the end of this there is one twist that makes you question everything you have read, so are you a believer in having that soul mate.

The concept is simple, someone has found the gene for love, our own DNA holds the key to The One, a built in algorithm that dating sites having trying to emulate for years.  But it doesn’t discriminate between age, race or even sex.  A Thousand Small Explosions is five stories of people who have taken the test and the results bleed across a spectrum of outcomes all with their own twists and turns throughout.  The stories range from sweet to damn right sinister and in parts disturbing.  It is also darkly humorous in places, which I am hoping it was meant to be or I am just slightly twisted.

The characters are nicely developed and they all come across as totally different personalities without trying too hard which is really nice to read.  You understand all their motivations even the people you do not relate with, I hoping one you really don’t relate with and if you do, get help.  It took me a few chapters to get used to the moving around within each story, as jumps from one to another so you are on the same time line.  But once I got it and got involved in the stories themselves and the characters and the eventual cracks that started showing in each one then I was hooked and in just over two weeks I was done.  I am a average reader so spend less time than I’d like so an avid reader would get through it in a week I reckon.  The stories themselves flow nicely and you are never left in the cold or getting through scene set up, each one just jumps head first into everything it has.  No tip toeing around certain areas that is for sure.  The story is about love, life and social interaction and stigma among others.

The breaking down of social barriers in this book was great, the rich powerful woman with the average bloke, to the two men who in their minds really aren’t gay but are matched and can feel something, so struggle with their feelings within themselves.  It also looks at the other side of the spectrum what could this test destroy, how many lives would it take apart and disrupt.  Also to the people who have no match that have to stick with the dating app which shows you have no match so can be preyed upon.

A Thousand Small Explosions by John Marrs is a gripping look at society today and is a self published book that is worth checking out.

It is available on Kindle right here.