Customer Reviews for

The Returned

Average Rating 3.5
( 99 )
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(30)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Most of us have felt the incredible pain of loss. Wishing, dream

Most of us have felt the incredible pain of loss. Wishing, dreaming, begging for just one more day, hour or minute with our loved one. Mott poses such a scenario in The Returned. Would such a reunion soothe our pain? Assuage our guilt? Curb our loneliness? Or would we j...
Most of us have felt the incredible pain of loss. Wishing, dreaming, begging for just one more day, hour or minute with our loved one. Mott poses such a scenario in The Returned. Would such a reunion soothe our pain? Assuage our guilt? Curb our loneliness? Or would we just like to keep it all in the past, carefully covered up?

So, one day people start coming back from the dead. Not coming back zombie-style, mind you, they are completely intact and relatively normal. They try to go to work, go home, see their families, all parts of their normal routine, except...they have been dead. Naturally, their family, friends and co-workers faint, scream, cry and generally freak-out upon seeing them.

But, theoretically, this would be amazing, right? You could see your long-lost loved ones again. Sometimes many years after their passing, some just months later. No more moving on, no more sorrow, a wonderful miracle, theoretically...

In reality, it's weird and people feel uneasy around the returned. They just don't know what to make of them or what to believe. In a spiritual sense, this goes against everything anyone has ever known. Are the returned sent by God or the devil? How can you pick right back up again with your loved one when they have been gone for so long or when you have just picked up the pieces and started over? Loss is a part of life and as devastating as it is, we do have the capacity to keep living. What if that were turned upside down?

Practically, the returned present another problem. What are we going to do with all of these new people? Some are lucky enough to be reunited with their families, but some have no family or friends left in the world. They are scared and alone. However, towns can't support them, the economy can't support them. We don't have the space or the food supply for everyone who has ever died to come back to Earth.

The already-living face these emotional and practical problems in a variety of ways ranging from acceptance to anger. The governments of the world (and the U.S. in particular) take matters into their own hands to handle the problem of the returned.

The Returned is a breathtaking novel that poses interesting questions. Mott's style reminded me of a poetic Stephen King. One of the things I love about King's writing is his ability to get inside the heads of even his most minor characters in such a way that immerses the reader even further into the story. Jason Mott has this talent as well. The Returned is told from multiple POV's and I felt attached to each of his characters. The arc of The Returned was perfect, with small details being presented in the beginning, then leading to a huge climax and a well wrapped-up ending that leaves you thinking. The Returned will definitely be one of the most talked about books of the year, if not for some time to come.

posted by KimballSK on August 28, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

The whole idea of something like this happening is profound and

The whole idea of something like this happening is profound and an intriguing idea for a novel. You could think about the repercussions of this scenario all day and probably still have more thinking to do the next. I've heard hype about this book for a couple of month...
The whole idea of something like this happening is profound and an intriguing idea for a novel. You could think about the repercussions of this scenario all day and probably still have more thinking to do the next. I've heard hype about this book for a couple of months and expected a lot - maybe I expected too much, but I was left feeling a little cheated.

Don't get me wrong, I liked The Returned. If the world had more people like Harold and Lucille Hargrave, it would be a better place. They were just good people all the way to their core and even after being thrust into a surreal situation, with chaos all around, their actions were admirable and courageous and most likely how we all hope we'd behave under the same set of circumstances.

I couldn't help liking Agent Martin Bellamy, either. Many books I've read portray government agents as cold and heartless, only carrying out orders. That wasn't the case with Bellamy - he was helpful, sympathetic, empathetic, and compassionate. However, despite my instant connection to these three memorable characters, I never felt the same connection to Jacob. Certainly, as a parent, I understood Lucille and Harold's need to protect him, but to me, his character development was lacking.

I was hoping for answers to critical questions and some form of resolution by the end of the book, but that didn't happen. The whole situation is one of fantasy, so maybe the author wanted to leave it up to the reader to decide the logistics of how, why, where, etc.

The writing was masterful (I loved the banter between Harold and Lucille) and the author was very able to portray the emotions of the characters. Although the pacing lagged a little in the middle, I was still anxious to see what happened.

The Returned is definitely worth reading and I predict it will be the selection of many book clubs in the next year and the subject of many heated debates. Just don't expect all the issues to be resolved at the end.

I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

posted by tpolen on August 28, 2013

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  • Posted September 1, 2013

    I'm about a quarter way into this book and am having to make mys

    I'm about a quarter way into this book and am having to make myself read it because I bought it :( I hope it picks up for my bank account's sake. The characters are not likable in the least and it drags. . . don't waste your money.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    I chose to rent this as an ebook for free from my library. I was

    I chose to rent this as an ebook for free from my library. I was 6th on the waiting list
    and it took me about 2 1/2 months for it to be my turn. During which time I had to fight myself to not just buy it and get it over with. Boy am I glad I didn't.
    I thought the book sounded interesting. I had to make myself finish it. I guess I don't know what I thought the book would be like. I'm just sorry I just wasted 2 weeks of my life reading it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013

    Waste of time

    Great idea that the author should have taken more macro. Harold and Lucille just weren't that interesting... I was skipping paragraphs on the last fifty pages just to make it end faster.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    I'm wondering if i should buy this book.

    Is this a good book?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Not worth the time in reading

    I was very disappointed in this book. When I read I want the author to paint a picture so my minds eye will be transported into the book. It wasn't there. Describe Agent Bellemy, not just say he is black, wore a suit & was from New York, tell he his facial features, go into his personality. In the school house, tell me what the art room looked like not just it was the art room. What color was it, were there supplies still laying around, lighting, etc? Big words were use out of no where, while all along it was simple text, along comes an uncommon word. Numerous times I read "something big was going to happen". I awaited a huge fireworks of a climax to the story & all I got was a dud firecracker. I kept reading hoping the ending would be BIG, it wasn't. Mr Mott could have taken this story so much farther. The Returned could have been because of some government testing what went awry. It could have been the Higher being saying "you wanted one more day, I gave it to you & now you have to go through losing them all over again" We went the who, what, when, where & most importantly the why. I can appreciate Mr Motts struggle with losing his mother, I lost mine at a young age. And I appreciate his need to write it down & get it out. But this story was too vague for my liking. He should stick to poetry.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    I have not read yet

    I went looking for a review on this book as the genre is what i love. I was not expecting a mini version of the book and all the psycho babble from people who have to pick a novel appart. I still dont know if its a good book...readers, is it a good read ?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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