Thirty by Zahra Owens

Thirty - Zahra Owens

The first part is very sweet, I can see a lot of people liking it, but it's not my thing, so don't look too close at my review. The second part is... confusing? unnecessary? attached by aliens?  :/




The story is set in the far future, where everyone must be matched by matchmakers the moment they were born. People in this society start working at 15 and retire at 30, either continuing to do their job full time, part time or retiring completely. On the first day of their retirement they also meet their match. Not everyone is so lucky, tho, and there are people who have to wait much longer to meet their soulmate due to the age difference.

Mal and Varr are matched by Matchmakers. Varr is one of them, 18 years older than Mal, very experienced and deeply respected by his colleagues. Mal is about to be trained as one, too. They meet on Mal's first day of retirement and immediately leave for their vacation. The destination turns out to be a huge surprise for Mal. He has never been out of the city and has to learn basics about the real outdoors, the simple life of the fishermen and non-programmed weather.

Both men keep their distance from each other, waiting for the other one to make the first move, but finally it happens. All is well, the sex is great and the lovers return back to the city (approximately 60% into the book) to find Mal's pregnant sister missing.

There was a lot of repetition and over explaining in the first part, in sharp contrast with a rushed and confusing, clearly not well-thought through second part of the story. I have no idea why the sister's story was even there. The way the society worked was fine enough, the failed drama added to question Matchmaking being unnecessary. I guess it was an attempt at mystery-suspense and some angst.

The first 60% - 3.5 stars for the short sweet bonding story.
The rest - 1 star.


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