The Returned

The Returned by Jason Mott Review

Have you ever lost a loved one? Whether it was a car accident, a long drawn out illness, or just the years slipped away and so did they, there is always a feeling of loss, of sadness, of wishing for just one more moment so you could say a final I love you.

In 1966 Harold and Lucille’s only child, their son Jacob, slipped away from his birthday party and drowned in the river not far from their home. Harold and all the people at the birthday party spread out to search, which went on for hours. Finally, with dread in his heart, Harold is searching by the river, calling his son’s name, when he spots him floating, dead. Cradled in his arms, Harold carries his cold, dead son home to his wife.

After the heartbreak of losing their only child, and with no hope to have another, Harold and Lucille slowly over the years learn to cope with their loss. Harold turns from religion, and seeks solace in hard work. Lucille turns to god and her large extended family to help her through.

The years pass, as years will, and now Harold and Lucille are many decades older, still together and still feeling the loss of their beloved son Jacob. A knock at the door of their old farmhouse is about to change everything that Harold and Lucille know, feel and think because on the other side of that door is their 8 year old son Jacob, returned.

This is not an isolated event, it is happening world wide. People of all ages, whether they were murdered like the Wilson family, drowned like Jacob or died peacefully, are all coming back. They have been labeled the Returned and no one can figure out what is going on. Is it a miracle from god? Is it a trick of the devil? Are they really even alive? Or for that matter are they even real?

As more and more of the Returned show up world wide, rumors and anxiety start to grow quickly. How many Returned are going to show up and what is their purpose? And now some of the Returned are disappearing just as abruptly as they arrived…

Great characters get woven into this wonderfully worded story. I could not put this book down! I was left guessing right up to the end as to the intent of the Returned and what was going to happen to them.

Very suspenseful, humorous in spots, and it really really made me think.

This is a powerful debut novel from Jason Mott and I will definitely be looking for more of his work. I recommend this book for anyone who likes a good strong story with solid, realistic characters and a mixture of suspense, humor and thought provoking questions.

I received my copy through GoodReads and my review was unsolicited.

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May 13, 2013

Get Ready for War (Hollywood High #2)

From the opening scenes to the closing lines, Get Ready for War is a study of cliches and stereotypes the likes of which I don’t believe I have ever seen before in one book! I was so sadly disappointed with the writing and the characters. But by far the worst thing to me was all the negative African American stereotypes this book offered up.

London, Heather (Wu-Wu to her fans), Rich and Spencer are the Pampered Princesses of Hollywood High Academy. The four frenemies have been toppled from their lofty position and are all falling faster and faster with no stop sign in sight.

London is trying to find her girls but instead finds a group of younger girls sitting at the Pampered Princess’ table in the cafeteria. After a wordy confrontation, London is compelled to start a brawl with the young girls, the whole while thinking that is only Heather, Rich and Spencer could handle their own drama, this wouldn’t be happening.

While London is fighting for her and the rest of the Pampered Princess’  money given rights to be the head clique in their school, Heather, Rich and Spencer are off fighting their own battles that include pregnancy, pill addiction, two timing boyfriends as well as parental problems.

Can London, Rich, Spencer and Heather pull themselves and their friendship together enough to pull themselves out of the downward spiral they find themselves in or will they end up at the bottom of the loser pile?

I felt the characters all lacked something, they all seemed very one dimensional. After reading so many negative things about each of the four lead characters (London, Rich, Heather and Spencer) I found it hard to find anything good about any of them or any of the other characters mentioned in the book. None stood out in any way and I just felt indifferent toward them all.

The storyline was one that has been covered many times before and there was nothing here that made it stand out. It was horribly predictable and there were no surprises.

What was much worse than the unsympathetic, one dimensional characters and the very slowwww moving, predictable plot, were all the negative stereotypes that were mentioned over and over again. And yes, I keep mentioning them simply because I was so thoroughly disgusted with them! This is not a novel I would recommend to anyone!

I received my copy through LibraryThing and my review was unsolicited.

 

Legend of The Cathars

When I first picked up this book to read I had no true idea of what gnosticism was. So I did a little research.

Gnosticism (from gnostikos, “learned”, from Greek: γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge;) is the     dualistic belief that the material world should be shunned and the spiritual world should be embraced.

Man has three natures: the body, which is the abode of the soul; the soul which is the abode of the spirit; and the spirit which is the divine spark.

Judith Mann sets out to give us an honest overview of gnosticism, from the start of their spiritual journey, through the rituals and up to and including the Albigensian Crusade.  The Roman Catholic Church was furious with the Cathars ability to practice what they preached, and standing firm against the corruption of the Catholic Church.

Now I have always had a big difficulty in reading about any group, be it religious, social economic or any other of the excuses people come up with in their attempts to make everyone follow only what they believe.

While this book won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I must say  that I have reserved 2 more books from my online library on the subject of the Cathars.

Judith Mann’s writing skills have left me wanting to learn more about the Cathars and I would most definitely read more of her work.

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