The crafting and revision of The Matriarch Matrix involved a couple of alpha readers and fifteen beta readers deployed across three different drafts. The beta readers come from Entrada Publishing.
www.entradapublishing.com

The unedited excerpts (grammar and spelling as originally written) below are intended to provide you a glimpse of what independent, anonymous readers took away from the book to help you decide if you wish to read The Matriarch Matrix as well.

Beta Reader – 30 year old woman from UK

Who is your favorite character and why?

Zara remains my favorite character. I feel that she is a really well-drawn character and her voice is the most truthful for me. Her strength and anger are quite refreshing to see, particularly from a female character. I enjoyed seeing her character develop throughout the book and her vulnerability start to show as she discovered herself. Her detailed back story gave me empathy for her and made her three dimensional, and I liked the way that you highlighted both her flaws and virtues. Her motivations are clear and her internal and external conflicts concerning Peter, her religion and her traumatic past experiences seem authentic.

What three things did you like the best?

The same things as my first read:

My favorite aspect of the book is how original the ideas are. You’ve brought a unique perspective to the concept of female repression and patriarchy and I respect how ambitious you’ve been in converging different themes of religion/science/spirituality etc. I also think that MoxWrap etc. are really imaginative inventions but still seem plausible in the near future.

I enjoyed the epigraphs at the beginning of the chapters, you’ve clearly taken time choosing them and they set the tone and highlight the internal battles faced by your characters.

I particularly like the chapters set in Iraq and Turkey, I thought that these were really well written and they felt like the most truthful sections of the book to me. It was interesting to learn about Kurdish/Turkish culture and the lives of Islamic women in particular.

 

Beta Reader – 20 year old woman from USA

Is the story unique and interesting?

The story is unique in that it’s version of the past extends to pre-neolithic times shown as snippets of a dream or vision; or chapters dedicated to the ancestral characters who somehow link to the modern day characters in 2020. It’s interesting in that the object remains mysterious from start to finish, and the lore of the affliction is revealed bit by bit, while bringing people from various parts of the world together.

Parallels between past characters and present characters made for an intriguing read, such as Parcza and Pappy, Orzu and Peter, Ki and Zara, Illyana and Michaela, and Alaxander who vaguely resembles the Giant Reindeer People etc.

Peter, a copy-editor still hopelessly hung up on his ex, comes from a family that has been plagued with nightmares linking to their strict oral tradition. One day, he receives an invitation to interview at the world’s top company, one that his sister inherently dislikes because of its dodgy CEO. He surprisingly aces the quiz, getting to meet said CEO Alexander who’s reason for the smooth hiring was in fact because he too is afflicted and on a search. Realistic reason for being singled out, and also very interesting as it ties in with the extensive-reach of the RoxWorld technology. The mission aspect of the story added to the plot significantly: objective, to unlock their memories completely and find the object via an archaeological excavation in the midst of what could be the Third World War.

Does the story deliver on its premise?

It certainly did, as far as the past-present mystery was resolved and some character development occurred. The change of perspectives throughout the book are always relevant in adding detail to the story and expanding on the plot. Obtaining the object to reconnect with the past is the central focus, and what’s interesting is that all along they were working for the man that they should have kept away from the object.

It delivered by solving the mysteries of the affliction and giving an inkling as to the relationships and occurrences that concern the main characters in the future.

The mysterious glowing rock that Orzu and his bro in-law stumbles upon marks the start of the voice in Namu’s head telling him to build a boat. After that Orzu’s nights are filled with afflictions and Nanshe begins to hear a voice…which somehow many years later spirals into the formation of a cult and it’s a truly interesting development how complex this family’s experiences became.

I enjoyed the fact that both Peter and Zara, shown in the prologue, were the really crucial characters.

When the focus shifted to Zara I really enjoyed the back story: how her life took a wretched turn when she was a child, her vivid memory about helicopters reigning destruction, to her father being beaten, and her mother humiliated in the worst way possible. The war trauma from the past women, and Zara and her Yazidi friends, was handled extremely well and was quite sad and disgusting too. Maryam’s trauma is far reaching but she maintains her role as a supportive figure for Zara, even after the father committed suicide (much like Peter’s father had done.)

During the scene in which Zara experiences islamaphobia for the first time “and the boys run away with her respect” was such a powerful and heartbreaking phrase if you put yourself in Zara’s mindset and consider her beliefs.

The fight scenes in the past were tense and charged, and Peter’s choice during the deadlock confrontation with Alexander was unexpected and showed some character growth.

The shifting back-and-forth between past and present expands the lore of Illyana, and as such various plot points throughout the book are more or less resolved, war is thwarted and peace becomes a viable potential, and the clutch of RoxWorld on the rest of the characters ominously and entertainingly still remain. In terms of action, past-present resolution, and war events and trauma, the story delivered really well.

 

Beta Reader – 22 year old woman from Germany

Is the story unique and interesting?

Definitely a unique story. I haven’t read anything like this before, and I haven’t read anything that handled such dark subject matter so realistically.

Does the story deliver on its premise?

The story delivered quite well. Everything was kept very consistent (characters, time lines, focused on main plot, etc.) and it made it much easier to follow such a deep plot.

As a reader, did you enjoy the story?
I very much enjoyed the story. This isn’t something I would ever have picked up at my library, but I’m so glad I got the chance to read through it. I was incredibly surprised out how well written some of the scenes in the story was. I found myself in tears on more than one occasion.

Who is your favorite character and why?

Zara, without a doubt. As a suffered of PTSD due to a sexual assault, she’s such a hero to me. What an incredibly, eerily, well-crafted character. She was so realistic and so strong.

When I learned about her past, I found myself having to put the book away because it was so difficult to read and empathize with. Everything relating to Zara was just written masterfully.

What other comments do you have for the author?

I would actually like to extend my gratitude. I can’t explain how touching it has been to read about a character like Zara. I think it sends a really strong message home that people seem to really forget. We can all be subject to rape. The world isn’t pretty. And it doesn’t matter how strong you are. But through everything, Zara is so incredibly beautiful. I think that’s important. Whether she agrees or not, she’s a stronger person for everything she’s been through.

Thank you for not writing her as some typical rape victim. Thank you for creating something so much more powerful.

 

Beta Reader – 60 year old man from USA

Is the story unique and interesting?

Yes, the story is unique. It has taken a piece of a factual/historic find and develops a work of fiction around it. The story is both interesting and fascinating as it unfolds.

Does the story deliver on its premise?

Most definitely. The story is filled with drama, mystery, suspense and self-exploration.

If you were to rate this novel on Amazon or Goodreads, how many stars would you give (1-5)? Why?
4.5 The story has a good plot, great character development, good dialogued. Has the right amount of drama, action, suspense, mystery and suspense to appeal to a wide range of readers.

 

Photo:  licensed from depositphotos.com

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