Publisher: Mary Holland
Publishing Date: March 2014
Publisher Description: Novi colony is inhumanly peaceful and John Jerzy has been sent to find out why. Jerzy’s last assignment ended in disaster, his career has stalled, and he plans to unravel this minor mystery the Novians call the Matcher and get a real assignment as soon as possible. Stella has lived on Novi all her life and she’s going to the Matcher to find her affinity group. She sees no reason to change and she plans to live happily ever after. Max Bari wants to change Novi from a backwater colonial planet to an interstellar power, with himself at the helm. All he needs is to fix the Matcher. He has a plan. Three people, three plans. But the Matcher has no plans. Only rules…
Review: I liked the author’s writing but the story-line (for off-world Scifi) was kind of ho-hum.
The premise that an ancient alien construct (big crystal rock) chooses a solo person as a conduit to form the best matches for a hive like society, is a snooze fest. The idea that everyone is more complete when all their needs are met (emotional, physical, spiritual etc.) through appropriate matches of usually three or more people is kind of boring. It reads like a liberals wet dream of the colonized mind where everyone has the same ideals and the “Retros” are well, bad because they don’t want some alien fucking with their minds.
The Retros are painted as diminished in myriad ways, but I identified more with their plight of resistance than traipsing down the hippy trail with Stella, Jerzy and their band of vacuous followers. The Retros, imho, are justifiably angry at the people of Novi for tying to push their pogrom of alien coercion upon them. The matcher and ITS followers seem to know what’s best for everyone and when the Retros try to fight back, the matcher kills them. Yay! Fug.
This is a great novel if you can’t think for yourself, are afraid of being alone and need a collective to feel complete.