Monday, September 9, 2013

The Returned by Jason Mott + a Giveaway

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Jason Mott's debut, The Returned.

Jacob was just eight when he died in 1966. Now he's back, alive and well and exactly the same as he was the day he drowned. And Jacob's not the only one; the Returned have been showing up everywhere. Lucille and Harold had heard about the Returned before Jacob arrived. To Lucille it was clear that they must be devils of some kind, at least until her own son turned up. Now she's certain that it's a true miracle. Harold was never exactly sure. They both see the effect of the Returned in their small town of Arcadia, though. Some folks are angry and afraid while others are confused. And some, like Lucille, are simply happy to have their loved ones back. Still there are no answers. No one knows why or how these people have come back. As protests and riots begin to occur all over the world, the government begins to take certain measures. 

The Returned is an amazing book. Really! I've seen similar approaches to this kind of topic before - mostly on screen with the recent In the Flesh (a UK show about a treatment that allows zombies to return home), The 4400 (the USA show from a few years back where 4,400 alien abductees all return at one time in one specific place), and to some extent Heroes considering the public reaction to the new superpower endowed. In The Returned Jason Mott gives us snippets of other Returned interspersed between chapters of the main story concerning Arcadia and the Hargraves. Arcadia, while small, serves as a great microcosm of the event itself illustrating what's happening the world over and also giving the reader a chance to get to know one core set of characters. Compared to the shows I've mentioned above, if you like any one of them you'll certainly like The Returned, but I find that even with similarities Mott's book stands out as being unique both in characters and story.

The public reactions to the Returned are compelling and thought provoking. Perhaps I'm a bit jaded in terms of human behavior but honestly the issues that occur are exactly what I'd imagine happening should something like this ever come about. It added an emotional element to the reading of the book, though, and I found myself at times both saddened and angry while reading.

In spite of the obvious supernatural leanings here, The Returned doesn't at all read like a paranormal or sci-fi only story. Instead, I think it's the kind of book that appeals to readers of just about all genres. I can see how the issues brought up in the book would be great fodder for book group conversations and the story has already been picked up and produced for the small screen, airing midseason on ABC as Resurrection. I'd imagine this will bring in a whole new set of readers curious about the show's origin, though it is obvious from the trailer that the story has been changed at least a little bit.

For those who are interested now but would like a little taste first, there are three short e prequels. In "The First" we meet Edmund Blithe, the first Returned. In "The Sparrow" a young couple finds Tatiana, a girl who died in 1994 (we also meet her in one of the other Returned stories in The Returned as well). And finally, in "The Choice" a husband is faced with a strange decision when his high school sweetheart returns almost twenty years after her disappearance. They're all free and while not at all necessary to the book itself, they're nice little extras. They do each include an excerpt of The Returned as well. ("The Sparrow" was my favorite of the three.)

Rating: 5/5

To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Jason Mott including his current book tour dates and locations (Denver folks, he'll be at the Tattered Cover on Colfax tomorrow. See if he's coming to a store near you!) you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

And now for the giveaway: The publisher is offering up one copy of Jason Mott's The Returned. To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below before September 23. US/Canada only and no PO boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jen | Book Den said...

Ooh, I'm so glad you reviewed this. I've been curious about it.

I loved The 4400. I wish that show had lasted longer.

Really? I had no idea this was already an ABC show. Well, I have to read it now. Haha. I'm glad to hear it was a great read.

traveler said...

Thanks for this fascinating giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Elizabeth said...

Nice review. I read it also for this tour.

I liked it...it was good but eerie. :)

Nice blog...I don't think I have visited before.

Silver's Reviews
My Blog

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I was so bummed when The 4400 went off the air - it had such an amazing premise. Sounds like I'd really enjoy this book too!

Thanks for being on the tour.

Bethanny said...

Looks pretty awesome

Anonymous said...

I have been dying to read The Returned. I've heard nothing but wonderful things from other readers. Thanks!

SuzyQ4PR (at) aol (dot) com