The Matriarch

Dianis, A World In Turmoil

Fiction - Science Fiction
387 Pages
Reviewed on 04/21/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Dianis is a Class E planet under the supervision of the Avarian Federation. As such, it is a planet to be studied and reported on but no intervention is allowed. The Matriarch: Dianis, A World in Turmoil by Frank Dravis introduces us to this world inhabited by people who would equate to humans in the Dark Ages. Achelous was the leader of the group of scientists stationed on Dianis studying the people and their history. When the Avarian Federation pulls out of Dianis, Achelous and his IDB team disappear. It appears that Achelous has broken the prime rule of Class E planets and has developed a relationship with a planet inhabitant, Marisa, a successful trader and businesswoman. When it becomes apparent that Dianis contains a rare and vital element needed for the Federation’s ongoing war against the Turboii, namely Aquamarine-5, as well as being the home to a surprising number of strategically important empaths, Dianis assumes immense importance to the Federation and to its leader, the Matriarch. It is vital to the Federation’s interests and their war against the Turboii that Achelous and his IDB team are found and that Dianis and its precious elements are protected from the Turboii. Marisa and her clan are not only threatened by this interstellar menace but also from within by the religious zealots on Dianis, the Paleowrights. The scene is set for a dramatic and climactic battle.

The Matriarch: Dianis, A World in Turmoil is science fiction at its best. Despite this being the second book in a series, author Frank Dravis has gone to some pains to explain who is who and what is what, making this story easily readable as a standalone tale. What I particularly liked was that the science fiction and technology were understandable and easily absorbed by non-technical geeks, such as myself. Ultimately, at its core, this book is about love, about home, about identity and the science fiction aspect is more just to hang the story on. What impressed me the most was the author’s ability to keep so many disparate arcs going at the same time. Despite the constant changes in storyline and POV, I never found myself lost or struggling to discover where exactly we were at any given point. Although there is plenty of action in the story, the fight scenes were one of the highlights, especially the nautical fight, which was both realistic and riveting. I found it easy to identify and empathize with the leading characters and the author’s subtle humor also shone through at times, which made me chuckle even in the tensest of scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and for a sci-fi reader looking for something a little different, this is well worth a look. I note the author left a clear future story hanging out there and I will definitely be looking forward to the sequel with bated breath.

K.C. Finn

The Matriarch: Dianis, A World In Turmoil is a work of science fiction and fantasy written by author Frank Dravis. Penned as the second novel in the Dianis chronicles, we return to the protected planet of the series title to find it covered on all sides by groups with differing interests. Chief Inspector Achelous is missing, but his predictions for the exploitation of the planet are coming true everywhere. His lover Marisa, a feisty trader princess, takes it upon herself to unravel the mystery of his whereabouts, as well as the many secrets he has kept from her and her son. So begins an adventure with plenty of intrigue and political and social suspense.

Good science fiction should always hold a mirror up to reality, and I believe that this excellent work by author Frank Dravis does exactly that. After a stellar opening novel filled with important questions about greed, the environment, and human nature, we are treated to another dose where the stakes are higher still and even more tense to see played out. Marisa is a great character for us to follow, growing in her understanding and learning the conflicting beliefs of those around her just as we do. The prose gives us plenty of gentle chances to learn the lore of the world which Dravis has created, without ever overdosing on the exposition. What results is a superb science fiction slow burn with plenty of questions looming long after the reading is done. Overall, I would highly recommend The Matriarch to sci-fi and fantasy fans everywhere.

Rabia Tanveer

The Matriarch: Dianis, A World in Turmoil by Frank Dravis is the second novel in a science fiction series that focuses on retribution and fighting for your rights. Marisa has no idea where Achelous went; she loves him, but there are certain things about him that she isn’t sure of. When she finds out that he isn’t a trader from Dianis, she knows she must find out who he really is before it is too late. However, Achelous and his team are missing, the people of Dianis have no idea where they went and now that they are in trouble, they need their hero more than ever before. There are certain forces looking for the best opportunity to destroy Dianis and the longer Achelous stays missing, the more powerful they are becoming. If the wrong people find him, that would be the end of his life. Marisa needs to find him and warn him before it is too late, but can she find a man who is excellent at hiding?

With strong characters and a powerful plot, The Matriarch: Dianis, A World in Turmoil by Frank Dravis is a novel that I absolutely enjoyed. From the moment the story began, I was swept away by the action and the intensity of the characters. You cannot help but feel sympathy for Marisa and how much she is suffering. Although there are many characters, especially when it comes to the Paleowrights, Marisa remains my favorite. She is a fighter, she is intelligent and she is strong enough to know what her weaknesses are and how she can play to her strengths. The narrative is very smooth, the plot just flows incredibly well and allows the reader to get invested in the story from the get-go. I enjoyed the dialogues and the descriptions the most; they somehow made Dianis believable and very real. Very interesting and immersive, this is an incredible novel and I cannot wait to read more about these characters.