The Reincarnationist by M J Rose

10 06 2010

Night before last I finished The Reincarnationist and I was fairly disappointed.  I’m a fan of M. J. Rose’s previous novels so I was hoping that her foray into theological suspense would be as much fun.

It was one of those in between books – I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either.  It was too short in that the basis of the Phoenix  Society wasn’t explained in a way that seemed real and central to the book.  It was too heavily edited.

I’m having a hard time writing a review for it even though I feel like I should.  The words just aren’t coming.

The characters seem flat and it was hard to feel compassion for them.  The scent as a “lurch” inducer felt off and it was never really explained.  The karmic circle of the past lives reaching into the future never seemed plausible.  There was a whole lot of whining about how the Christians of that time period didn’t know their own roots and they were just power hungry brutes sent to rape and pillage.  So much emphasis was put on spiritual leaders sometimes being power hungry figureheads and then we’re supposed to be surprised the villain is a power hungry spiritual leader.  The timeline was full of holes.  The scenes seemed to be written separately from each other and then pasted together like a  dollar store jig-saw puzzle.

In other words, if this book was a child it would really want to be a James Rollins novel when it grew up.

Two stars just because it took up an evening in the tub.   It wasn’t terrible but this story has been done better by just about every one of my favorite authors from Christopher Pike to Diana Gabaldon.




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