The One by John Marrs


My grateful thanks to Stephanie Naulls at Ebury Press for an advanced reader copy of The One by John Marrs in return for an honest review. Previously titled A Thousand Small Explosions, The One is published by Del Rey, an imprint of Ebury, in e-book on 26th January 2017 and in paperback on 4th May 2017 and is available for pre-order here.

Having really enjoyed reading The One, I’m delighted to say I will be interviewing John on 25th January 2017 so do come back then.

The One


How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes.

One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love.

Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

My Review of The One

When DNA is used to find your perfect love match in life, nothing can go wrong – can it?

For the first five chapters or twenty pages I didn’t think I was going to enjoy The One. I needed to attune myself to switching between characters and holding the different threads of the plot together. However, it didn’t take me long to find myself thinking I’d just read another chapter, and another, and another until I was so enthralled by the twisty, clever plot that I couldn’t tear myself away. The brevity of each chapter and the mini cliff hangers meant that there was an almost breathless pace at times that I loved.

And the plot is twisty. I did work out some elements and for others I had that ‘Oh. I wasn’t expecting that!’ moment, making for a highly entertaining read. I’d quite like to go back and read each of the different characters’ narratives altogether in one go to see if the experience is different as I think there’s a great quality to John Marrs’ writing that would stand up to several reads. I could also see The One as a brilliant television series.

The characterisation was entirely plausible and convincing – even for the more minor characters, so that there were several layers to the different strands. I warmed to some characters more than others which for me reflected what happens in real life, but I certainly wanted to know what happened to them all, especially Christopher, Ellie and Nick.

I also really appreciated the way in which John Marrs incorporated a range of themes. Whilst it’s possible to read The One simply as a highly entertaining thriller, it deserves more consideration than that too. Themes of relationships (obviously), nature versus nurture, sexuality, family, truth and honesty all ripple throughout the text so that there’s plenty for the reader to contemplate too. Reading The One really made me question the benefits and disadvantages of the internet and social media.

The One is my first John Marrs read and it certainly won’t be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed this cleverly conceived novel and highly recommend it.

Oh, and would I take a DNA test to find my perfect love match after reading The One? Not on your life!

About John Marrs


John Marrs is a freelance journalist based in London, England, who has spent the last 20 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines. He has written for publications including The Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company; Daily Star and News of the World’s Sunday Magazine.

His debut novel The Wronged Sons, was released in 2013 and in May 2015, he released his second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are.

You can follow John on Twitter and find him on Facebook.

10 thoughts on “The One by John Marrs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.