Friday, August 2, 2013

Advance Review: The Returned by Jason Mott




The Returned;

I received a free download of this book from Netgalley In exchange for my review




I’ve heard buzz about this book since the  BEA Expo in May. I was really intrigued by the concept of the novel and soon after hearing about it I was able to download a free e-novella set in the same world of The Returned, called The First. I really  enjoyed The First and I highly recommend potential readers of Mott’s book  download it . It’s Free!!  Yesterday I Read and reviewed The Sparrow, the second free novella in the series and while you are reading this The Choice the final free novella is available for download.

So here I am, two novellas read and loved and thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley, the main course, The Returned novel, on my reader! To say I was in a high state of anticipation would not be an exaggeration and so I dived in.


The main focus of the novel The Returned is  the characters Harold and Lucille Hargrave. The couple live in the small Southern town of Arcadia. As they  are watching news stories about The Returned experiences across the world there is a  knock on their door and a government agent behind it, holding the hand of  their eight year old son who had drowned twenty years before. It is a shock to the parents but they cannot think of turning Jacob away, but they also cant help doubting the miracle before them.


Mott uses the town of Arcadia as a lodestone to play out the expected series of events people returning from the grave would expect from a scared human populace. Though I wont call this decision of Mott’s a mistake, I will say it diminished my enjoyment of the novel,  all my disappointment in the novel leads back to the characters in Arcadia.


When you think of the South a number of stereotypes come to mind and unfortunately Harold and Lucille display so many of those stereotypes I never could fully connect with them. Jacob was a very relatable character and his actions and dialogue were very authentic. Through out the book there are glimpses of other characters in other countries and circumstances that I really enjoyed and wished Jason would have expanded on.

Instead I found my self dreading the return of Harold and Lucille. However when the couple are separated midway through the book and placed in unusual circumstances I regained interest in the story.

Overall the use of language in this story is very poignant and heartfelt. Mott is a master at setting up emotional resonance while describing the internal emotional landscape of his characters, it was just the outer dialogue I struggled with at times. Definitely a  novel worth checking out and forming your own opinion about.


Mott is definitely an author I will be reading again in the future.

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