Verdict: A combination of Dan Brown and Erich von Daniken, THE MATRIARCH MATRIX is accordingly overlong but well researched.
Alexander Murometz, oligarch of the wold straddling corporation MoxMedia, has assembled an unusual team: Peter, a timid San Francisco copywriter with a unique heritage; Zara, a battle-scarred Kurdish mercenary; and Jean-Paul, a knowledgeable former Jesuit priest. Their mission is to locate a sacred object, a towering stone, that might be the source of all Earth’s religions and could have been left by aliens. With the world is on the brink of war, the team is headed toward the conflict’s geographical boiling point, but not everyone on the mission is quite what they seem.
The first thing that might strike you about THE MATRIARCH MATRIX is that it is long. Author Maxime Trencavel clearly researched the book, and those interested in the history of religion, fringe archaeology and Middle Eastern culture will find a lot of information about those topics referenced throughout. Additionally, each chapter begins with a beautiful or thoughtful quote from a Sufi poet or a Christian philosopher, which is rewarding in itself.
Unfortunately, the book also has a tendency to feel overstuffed. The narrative jumps back and forth from the not-too-distant future to the prehistoric past to show the connection between ancient traditions and the modern world. However, the ancient sections ultimately are curiously modern in presentation, and they don’t contribute much to the plot and less to the conclusion, ultimately feeling superfluous.
The characters can be oddly presented as well. It can be as simple as repetition. Jean-Paul is called “the good Father” repeatedly, sometimes multiple times on the same page. On a more complex note, Peter’s wimpiness is overplayed, and we’re reminded of it through narration rather than just seeing it in action. And remember the title? The female characters all have a romantic attachment to Peter, and yet they seem to come at him from a mothering—some might say downright Freudian—perspective.
These narrative hiccups are strange, because sometimes the prose is quite nice. On one page, physically imposing billionaire Alexander effortlessly lifts a suitcase, becoming the “world’s richest bag porter”; on another page, Peter the copywriter notes that someone’s eyes are the size of “twelve-point lower case Os.” Descriptions like this hold more fascination than 100 pages of explanation.
~Colin Newton for IndieReader