Hollywood Book Reviews
Linking three different people to an ancient past and the near-future fear of world war,The Matriarch Matrixprovides a rich mix of science, sin and star-crossed romance.
Peter is a tech-savvy guy traumatized by bizarre mental images and the imminent prospect of his grandfather’s death in the real world of 2021. As he lies on his deathbed, the old man repeats to Peter the tenets of a family oral tradition connecting a “long-tailed star,” the evil Reindeer People and a “black object” that will guide Peter to a new life. Elsewhere a beautiful and embittered warrior woman named Zara wants revenge for the savage terrors inflicted on her Kurdish people. But she too is haunted by a vision of a black object hidden away thousands of years ago in the Middle East, in the time of the great matriarch Nanshe. The third link is a disaffected Catholic monk, Jean-Paul, whose scientific bent leads him to suspect the dark object might be a magnet for the DNA of those who search for it.
Each of these three wears a MoxWrap, the latest technological wristband miracle with the smarts of a minicomputer. An international entrepreneur named Alexander uses the device to attract Peter, Zara and Jean Paul to work for his company Mox enterprises. In their intrigue-shrouded activities, they will come to understand more about their shared DNA, find the black ages-old artifact and realize the fate of the earth itself is now in their hands.
Author Maxime Trencavel is a transcontinental traveler whose knowledge of exotic cultures and settings has aided in the design of this cerebral sci-fable, displaying her often detailed knowledge of religion, science, psychology, business and archeology. Much of this wide-ranging saga is about sensuality and sexuality, as it seems that men such as Peter are more affected by the dark apocalyptic visions while women are somehow able to comfort the men through sexual contact. Rape, by the enemies of Zara and others, is also heavily featured, counterbalanced through the strength of Zara herself and her determination not ever again to be dominated by any oppressor. Some readers may find Trencavel’s book, at over 500 pages, too long and at times, repetitive. Dividing the story into two or even three volumes might have been a useful strategy. Nonetheless, the combination of fantasy, history, myth, time-warping and future-tech is undeniably gripping.
Modern marvels just beyond our reach and ancient mysteries, including the oldest one of all – the mystery locked in the human heart – make Maxime Trencavel’s premier novelThe Matriarch Matrixan innovative cross-genre read.
Reviews are pouring in on Amazon and Goodreads. I thank everyone who has reviewed this book. If you read The Matriarch Matrix, please leave a review as reviews are how the world can discover the wonders of a new book.
This page features reviews I believe capture the essential essence of The Matriarch Matrix. You can judge for yourself by going to these web pages:
And take a peek at how these compare to what the beta readers said:
“…rich and multi-layered” spiritual journey that delves into at least two universal and ageless questions, “Where did we come from?” and “What is our purpose?”
Maxime highlights the struggle between humanity’s desire for peace, beauty, love and harmony with its tendencies toward violence, greed, jealousy and intolerance. The fascinating idea of reincarnation and ancestral memory has always captured my imagination. Skillfully this author takes us to times through the ancient past to the near future. Loved the phrase,
“That which is our past reaches into our beings today, guiding us to our tomorrow.” By using such diverse characters with backgrounds and beliefs so diametrically opposed, we have the opportunity to experience the realities of an Islamic mystic, an alien seeking atheist and a Jesuit priest who almost did not take his vows because of his love for a woman. These unique and complex people are the hope of salvation for the world. Though it is their destiny to race to find the ancient artifact with it’s secrets and power, their own personal choices will determine if this power will save or destroy the world.
Every emotion know to mankind is felt as these amazing characters share their past, their task and their dreams with us.
Maxime’s gifted tale seized my interest, captured my imagination and touched my heart and soul. After reading the ARC, I purchased and reread the book. There is so much to absorb and reflect on I doubt I will ever tire of revisiting this treasure. My fear is not being able to find the words to write a review to even adequately do this masterpiece justice.
ARC received for an honest reviewThere are a massive amount of ideas and hypotheses to try to absorb here, in this very very long debut novel.The idea of shared memories over millennia is a stretch for me, but since this has a work of science fiction, the author can write it any way she wants.
Peter is a modern man who has been handed down memories from 10,000 years ago through his lineage, through his DNA. He remembers the attacks of giant men from the north called Reindeer Men. He dreams about his ancient wife and his ancient family. He has nightmares about his failures to protect them from the giants. The giants come South into what is present day Turkey to kidnap women for breeding. They are a completely cruel people, killing or capturing the men into slavery and taking the women as concubines, whom the giants use mercilessly. They murder as many as they capture.
There is an artifact that the people from both time periods are looking for. It is a black stone or monolith and It has supernatural powers. It has the power to destroy.
I liked the book after I got to the parts about the ancients. That interested me. I would not have read this book if it had not been an ARC. It is just too long and jumps back and forth too much from the past, to the future, and then to somewhere inbetween.
************I appreciate this author’s candor. Her comments reflect what some of the beta readers also felt.
1) This book is long. It is the length of a Dan Brown novel, in between Da Vinci Code and Inferno, or the length of a Lord of the Rings novel. If this is not a reader’s style or desire, then they should not buy this book. It’s about an eleven to twelve-hour read.
2) The story is not linear. An important part of the story happens in 8000 to 9000 BCE and it is interwoven throughout the book. By the last third, this neolithic story becomes interwoven in key chapters. Back histories of the primary characters are interwoven as full chapters. These different time periods require the reader to stop and think about where the story is at that moment, which can take a reader out of the dream-like state that a good escapist story brings. If this would drive you crazy, then this is not the book for you.
But for those who like books with these two characteristics, then you may enjoy the reading experience of The Matriarch Matrix.
And this reviewer I truly respect for the depth of his analysis. He is right. “Metaphorically” The book is full of metaphors for the world we live in, the worlds we came from, and where we may be going.
Zara, a Muslim woman, is a warrior deeply involved in Kurdish resistance but also having herself been viciously raped by the giants. Peter, and atheist, is a complex person – he (and his father) also has the dreams which expose his shallowness and timidity. Yet he shines. He thinks that aliens brought us to earth and guides our lives. The Jesuit priest, Jean-Paul, has left the order but had not renounced his vows – he believes that the stone is associated with the DNA of those persons afflicted by the dreams. Alexander, the global entrepreneur, has his own motivations in putting the team together as best suited to find the stone with which he believes he can communicate with aliens. and experiment with human DNA.
At one level, the book is about women and the prospect of prosperity and peace if women were in charge. The primary thesis is that man took over and has since mistreated women throughout history. Behind this is the tale of a cult of women, and this bloodline (and the dreams) and the voice have been passed down through Zara’s family. An oral tradition tells the story that the stone can be found, but it has to be done by a man and a woman, presumably acting as one. Only then would there be peace. Zara and Peter are seen as the ‘chosen’ couple, Most of the story tells about their ups and downs and arounds in ‘coming to one’, and the final outcome is surprising.
The literal story is itself interesting, but I prefer to see it metaphorically.. We should also link this to the level of patriarchy ongoing in the region. We are revolted by the stark ravaging of women by the giants I needed a more acceptable but culturally consistent picture. In effect, the gross mistreatment of women by men has both physical and psychological results on both, leading them to hide the events in the dark recesses of their minds, never a peaceful place. The impact on other men is to ‘guiltify’ their minds that they cannot defend their women, even when a mercy killing is the best solution to put the victims out of their misery (“You’re convinced that you cannot be a hero.”). Some older violated women like Zara may stand up and fight, as would some men, but the wounds are deep. And remember, the afflicted women had their own oral traditions for peace. Just beware the new daughters and granddaughters who carry bows and arrows.
The constant search for new land seems to fit well with the concept of a woman cult and women seeking new arrangements and respect from men
There are, of course, religious issues – the contact of Islam, Christianity and Atheism living in a Muslim home is deeply suggestive.. I see that part pf the tradition that says: ‘The object can save but only for the man and woman together’ combined with the love ultimately experienced by Zara and Peter as reminiscent of the Bible quote (in part) “and the two shall become one….” The mystery is that Zara finally leaves Peter to do her ‘God’s work’ with the Kurds.
One of the striking features of this book is that it makes the reader think. You will find much to ponder. The book may be long, and at some points heavy and overdone. It does require some perseverance and structuring to keep going.
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