Book Review The Matriarch Matrix

Title: The Matriarch Matrix
Author: Maxime Trencavel
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The Matriarch Matrix – A speculative fiction novel of origins, faith, passion, and the pursuit of peace.

It was always his destiny to save her. It was always her destiny to die. The fate of the world hangs on their choices… 

The past foretells her future…

What does it take to change a loving child of peace into an assassin for a dangerous and powerful oligarch? Zara Khatum knows. Once a fighter for her Kurdish people, the memory of the atrocities inflicted by her captors has Zara seeking one thing: vengeance. But the voices of the ancients call to Zara. In the past, in another life, she knew the secrets of the artifact…

Twelve thousand years ago…

She is Nanshe, revered matriarch of the family she led away from the monsters of the north. In the land that would one day mark the treacherous border between Turkey and Syria, she created the temples at Gobleki Tepe and founded a dynasty, heirs to a powerful object. For millennia, Nanshe’s descendants have passed down the legend of the artifact: “The object can save. But only a man and woman together can guide the salvation of others.”

Heirs to destiny…

By fate or destiny, Zara is thrown in with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian from the other side of the world and the other side of everything she believes. But he, too, is heeding the voices of his ancestors. Joined by Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, these three people—from wildly different religions and cultures—must find a way to work together to solve a twelve thousand-year-old mystery of the powerful object that spawned a faith. The world teeters on the precipice of war. The outcome depends on them. And one of them is living a lie.

The Matriarch Matrix is a rich and deeply layered epic story – a spiritual odyssey with a heartbeat of an action adventure. It may make you think, ponder, reflect upon where we came from and where we are going. It blends our past with a speculative future of things that are not so far-fetched. It blends the drama, the comedy, the romance, the tragedy of three protagonists with different cultures, traditions, and beliefs – a Sufi woman, a Jesuit priest, and an alien origin believing atheist. Their journeys separately and together will be a test of their respective faiths and their inner search for personal and family redemption.

The Matriarch Matrix is an unique science fiction adventure that pushes the boundaries of the genre in more than one way. Zara Khatum, the main character, isn’t your typical heroine, a far cry from it even. She was once a fighter for her Kurdish people, and went through hell at the hands of her captors, leaving her to seek vengeance first and foremost.

Yet, in another life, she was someone else entirely. A family matriarch, who led her loved ones away from the monsters of the north. She created temples and founded a dynasty with as main purpose to protect a powerful object that hides mysterious powers.

Back in the present day, Zara must work otgether with Peter Gollinger, a quirky Californian, and Jean-Paul, a former Jesuit priest, to solve the mystery of the artifact she swore to protect in her past life.

The book is science-fiction / fantasy in a certain sense, but the way Dan Brown’s books are, while still being firmly set in our contemporary world, the fantasy/scifi part involves an ancient mystery begging to be solved. I quite enjoy this set-up, and was glad to see it here too. However, while I generally enjoy Dan Brown’s books, I have to admit The Matriarch Matrix is of a whole different sort, much more complex, with a lot more layers, and an extremely complicated yet intriguing main character.

For me, even more than the plot, which is very engrossing all by itself, I was charmed by Zara, our protagonist, a woman who is complex and strong, who has her own code of morality, who went through hell yet fights for her beliefs.

While I liked Peter, the other main character, too, I didn’t like him as much as I liked Zara. He was more the stereotypical geek, extremely smart but also extremely clumsy and quirky.

Told partially in the present, partially in the past, this book pushes the boundaries of genre, as well as of time and space, and ultimately provides an outstanding reading experience to anyone who picks it up.

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