I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A member of a future society of a new human civilization builds resistance to a gene treatment meant to eliminate selfishness entirely, and discovers the consequences of trying to suppress human nature as a whole in author Matthew Marullo’s “Welcome to Opine”.
Nine billion years into the future, the rogue planet Earth is captured by a blue dwarf star in another galaxy, eventually culminating in the rise of Homo Sapiens 2.0.
Imagine a member of the ancient humans had buried deep in the earth a quantum computer containing a vast, digitized compendium of humankind’s history and achievements, all preserved within petabytes of quantum memory.
This new human civilization, calling their planet Opine and themselves the Opinions, the first “i” pronounced with a long vowel, were granted the valuable benefit of hindsight. After spending decades studying “Ancient” history, the Opinions endeavored to expunge selfishness from the human genome through a genetic therapy called the Self Suppressor.
But what happens when one person develops a natural resistance to the therapy? Would he then represent a threat to the gene pool? Will the Opinions be able to correct this genetic anomaly, or perhaps adapt it, in the interest of regaining a sacrificed part of their humanity?
One voice may know the answer. The voice of the man who originally buried the quantum computer billions of years ago…
This was a captivating and thought-provoking blend of sci-fi and satire. The author was able to find the perfect voice to capture the curiosity and discovery that these futuristic humans find within themselves at the pleasure and gratification resulting from this young man’s immunity. The themes of conservatism and viewing sex not as a pleasurable act but as a scientific necessity to further the human race came to life in an artistic and brilliant way.
The powerful imagery of the author’s work and the world-building helped to elevate the character’s growth and dynamics in a big way. The spark to this “revolution” of sorts within this futuristic society stems from the connection between Aster, the young man who begins to develop immunity, and his longtime friend Dianella. The sudden burst of embarrassment and shock that Aster has at his actions and desires is a stark contrast to the almost deadpan observations of Dianella. Yet, the domino effect of Aster’s actions showcases the futility of suppressing human sexuality and freedoms as a whole.
Thoughtful, mesmerizing, and haunting, author Dr. Matthew Marullo’s “Welcome to Opine” is a must-read sci-fi satire. The twists and turns in the narrative help to bring the rich mythology and world-building of this futuristic society and version of Earth to life in an authentic way. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Marullo is the author of three prior novels: The Octave Displacement (2006), Gludman’s Proof (2013), and Till Times Are Done (2019). Reviewers such as Kirkus, Blueink, and Foreword call Marullo’s novels “unique,” “clever,” as well as “expertly” and “masterfully” written. Dr. Marullo lives with his family in Long Island, New York.