Friday, October 19, 2007

Book Review - The Reincarnationist

The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose, is a suspense novel with an intriguing premise. Josh Ryder is a photojournalist on assignment in Rome when he sustains an injury with startling side effects: the unbidden ability to remember distant past lives. Unable to shake these lifelike treks down generations past, Josh enlists the help of a foundation compiling scientific data on past life experiences. Through this foundation, Josh finds himself at an archeological dig in Rome, face to face with his most prevalent incarnation.

The plot and premise of this novel are extremely compelling. Throughout the read, I found myself putting together pieces of the puzzle and thoroughly engrossed in the historical meanderings of our setting. However, and this is a personal preference, the writing style itself left me a bit outside of the story. There were large portions that wound in prose and were overly descriptive without giving me a good sense of the characters. Had I not been reading this for review, I might well have put it down without finishing.

The plot was very intricate, so much of the descriptive passages were necessary in order for the reader to understand the motion. It’s my preference, though, that suspense pulls you further into the character rather than the scenery. If you are both a fan of literary fiction with very vivid setting and thought provoking suspense, this would be right up your alley. As I said, my faults with the book aren’t the result of the writer doing anything wrong; her voice is exceptionally good – just not to my taste in suspense.


Mary Witzl said...

This sounds good, Merry, and I certainly agree with you about the premise. I can imagine that this book could have several sequels, given all the lives the main character may be able to remember.

Jerseygirl89 said...

I enjoyed the book but I definitely see your points.

I tagged you!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Mary,

I don't think the author was going for sequels, but you have a good point, that would make an interesting series!

Hi Jersey,

I wanted to enjoy the book alot more than I did, the premise was great and the historical references and world building were wonderful - like I said in the review, I think it was personal taste rather than anything wrong with the book itself - I would never dissuade anyone from reading it - I think a lot of people would really enjoy it.

Shelly said...

Ooops... Thought I left a comment on this yesterday, but it seems to have disappeared into the far reaches of cyberspace.

Thanks for the pointer to this one. It sounds like something I might enjoy.

I'm really liking your book reviews!