The Reincarnationist (Reincarnationist Series #1)

( 53 )

Overview

A bomb in Rome, a flash of bluish-white and photojournalist Josh Ryder’s world exploded. Nothing would ever be the same.

As Josh recovers, his mind is invaded with thoughts that have the emotion, the intensity, the intimacy of memories. But these are not his memories. They are ancient… and violent. There’s an urgency to them he can’t ignore — pulling him to save a woman named Sabina… and the treasures she ...

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Overview

A bomb in Rome, a flash of bluish-white and photojournalist Josh Ryder’s world exploded. Nothing would ever be the same.

As Josh recovers, his mind is invaded with thoughts that have the emotion, the intensity, the intimacy of memories. But these are not his memories. They are ancient… and violent. There’s an urgency to them he can’t ignore — pulling him to save a woman named Sabina… and the treasures she protects.

But who is Sabina?

Desperate for answers, Josh turns to the world-renowned Phoenix Foundation—a research facility that scientifically documents cases of past life experiences. He is led to an archaeological dig and to Professor Gabriella Chase, who has discovered an ancient, powerful secret that threatens to merge the past with the present. Here, the dead call out to the living, and murders of the past become murders of the present.

“A riveting thriller—smart, original and so well written. Rose hooks you on the first pages.” —Linda Fairstein

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455875702
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 3/13/2012
  • Series: Reincarnationist Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

M.J. Rose, is the international bestselling author of 10 novels; Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying in Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix, The Reincarnationist, and The Memorist. She is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. Rose has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer News Hour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USA Today, Stern, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka.
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Read an Excerpt

They will come back, come back again, As long as the red earth rolls. He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think he would squander souls?

—Rudyard Kipling

Rome, Italy—sixteen months ago

Josh Ryder looked through the camera's viewfinder, focusing on the security guard arguing with a young mother whose hair was dyed so red it looked like she was on fire. The search of the woman's baby carriage was quickly becoming anything but routine, and Josh moved in closer for his next shot.

He'd just been keeping himself busy while awaiting the arrival of a delegation of peacekeepers from several superpowers who would be meeting with the pope that morning, but like several other members of the press and tourists who'd been ignoring the altercation or losing patience with it, he was becoming concerned. Although searches went on every hour, every day, around the world, the potential for danger hung over everyone's lives, lingering like the smell of fire.

In the distance the sonorous sound of a bell ringing called the religious to prayer, its echo out of sync with the woman's shrill voice as she continued to protest. Then, with a huge shove, she pushed the carriage against the guard's legs, and just as Josh brought the image into that clarity he called "perfect vision," the kind of image that the newspaper would want, the kind of conflict they loved captured on film, he heard the blast.

Then a flash of bluish white light.

The next moment, the world exploded.

In the protective shadows of the altar, Julius and his brother whispered, reviewing their plans for the last part of the rescue and recovery. Each of them kept a hand on his dagger, prepared in case one of the emperor's soldiers sprang out of the darkness. In Rome, in the Year of their Lord 391, temples were no longer sanctuaries for pagan priests. Converting to Christianity was not a choice, but an official mandate. Resisting was a crime punishable by death. Blood spilled in the name of the Church was not a sin, it was the price of victory.

The two brothers strategized—Drago would stay in the temple for an hour longer and then rendezvous with Julius at the tomb by the city gates. As a diversion, that morning's elaborate funeral had been a success, but they were still worried. Everything depended on this last part of their strategy going smoothly.

Julius drew his cape closed, touched his brother's shoulder, bidding him goodbye and good luck, and skulked out of the basilica, keeping to the building's edge in case anyone was watching. He heard approaching horses and the clatter of wheels. Flattening himself against the stone wall, Julius held his breath and didn't move. The chariot passed without stopping.

He'd finally reached the edge of the porch when, behind him, like a sudden avalanche of rocks, he heard an angry shout split open the silence: "Show me where the treasury is!"

This was the disaster Julius and his brother had feared and discussed, but Drago had been clear—even if the temple was attacked, Julius was to continue on. Not turn back. Not try to help him. The treasure Julius needed to save was more important than any one life or any five lives or any fifty lives.

But then a razor-sharp cry of pain rang out, and ignoring the plan, he ran back through the shadows, into the temple and up to the altar.

His brother was not where he'd left him.

"Drago?"

No answer.

"Drago?"

Where was he?

Julius worked his way down one of the dark side aisles of the temple and up the next. When he found Drago, it wasn't by sound or by sight—but by tripping over his brother's supine body.

He pulled him closer to the flickering torches. Drago's skin was already deathly pale, and his torn robe revealed a six-inch horizontal slash on his stomach crossing a vertical gash that cut him all the way down to his groin.

Julius gagged. He'd seen eviscerated carcasses of both man and beast before and had barely given them a passing glance. Sacrifices, felled soldiers or punished criminals were one thing. But this was Drago. This blood was his blood.

"You weren't…supposed to come back," Drago said, dragging every syllable out as if it was stuck in his throat. "I sent him…to look in the loculi…for the treasures. I thought…Stabbed me, anyway. But there's time…for us to get out…now…now!" Drago struggled to raise himself up to a sitting position, spilling his insides as he moved.

Julius pushed him down.

"Now…we need…to go now." Drago's voice was weakening.

Trying to staunch the blood flow, Julius put pressure on the laceration, willing the intestines and nerves and veins and skin to rejoin and fuse back together, but all he accomplished was staining his hands in the hot, sticky mess.

"Where are the virgins?" The voice erupted like Vesuvius without warning and echoed through the interior nave. Raucous laughter followed.

How many soldiers were there?

"Let's find the booty we came here for," another voice chimed in.

"Not yet, first I want one of the virgins. Where are the virgin whores?"

"The treasury first, you lecherous bastard."

More laughter.

So it wasn't one man; a regiment had stormed the temple. Shouting, demanding, blood-lust coating their words. Let them pillage this place, let them waste their energy, they'd come too late: there were no pagans to convert, no treasure left to find and no women left to rape, they'd all already been killed or sent into hiding.

"We have to go…" Drago whispered as once again he fought to rise.

He'd stayed behind to make sure everyone else got out safely. Why him, why Drago?

"You can't move, you've been hurt—" Julius broke off, not knowing how to tell his brother that half of his internal organs were no longer inside his body.

"Then leave me. You need to get to her…Save her and the treasures…. No one…no one but you…"

It wasn't about the sacred objects anymore. It was about two people who both needed him desperately: the woman he loved and his brother, and the fates were demanding Julius sacrifice one of them for the other.

I can't let her die and I can't leave you to die.

No matter which one he chose, how would he live with the decision?

"Look what I found," one of the soldiers shouted.

Screams of vengeance reverberated through the majestic hall. A shriek rang out above all the other noise. A woman's cry.

Julius crawled out, hid behind a column and peered into the nave. He couldn't see the woman's upper body, but her pale legs were thrashing under the brute as the soldier pumped away so roughly that blood pooled under her. Who was the poor woman? Had she wandered in thinking she'd find a safe haven in the old temple, only to find she'd descended into hell? Could Julius help her? Take the men by surprise? No, there were too many of them. At least eight he could see. By now the rape had attracted more attention, drawing other men who forgot about their search to crowd around and cheer on their compatriot.

And what would happen to Drago if he left his side?

Then the question didn't matter because beneath his hands, Julius felt his brother's heart stop.

He felt his heart stop.

Julius beat Drago's chest, pumping and trying, trying but failing to stimulate the beating. Bending down, he breathed into his brother's mouth, forcing his own air down his throat, waiting for any sign of life.

Finally, his lips still on his brother's lips, his arm around his brother's neck, he wept, knowing he was wasting precious seconds but unable to stop. Now he didn't have to choose between them—he could go to the woman who was waiting for him at the city gates.

He must go to her.

Trying not to attract attention, he abandoned Drago's body, backed up, found the wall and started crawling. There was a break in the columns up ahead; if he could get to it undetected, he might make it out.

And then he heard a soldier shout for him to halt.

If he couldn't save her, Julius would at least die trying, so, ignoring the order, he kept moving.

Outside, the air was thick with the black smoke that burned his lungs and stung his eyes. What were they incinerating now? No time to find out. Barely able to see what lay ahead of him, he kept running down the eerily quiet street. After the cacophony of the scene he'd just left, it was alarming to be able to hear his own footsteps. If someone was on the lookout the sound would give him away, but he needed to risk it.

Picturing her in the crypt, crouched in the weak light, counting the minutes, he worried that she would be anxious that he was late and torment herself that something had gone dangerously wrong. Her bravery had always been as steadfast as the stars; it was difficult even now to imagine her afraid. But this was a far different situation than anything she'd ever faced, and it was all his fault, all his shame. They'd risked too much for each other. He should have been stronger, should have resisted.

And now, because of him, everything they treasured, especially their lives, was at stake.

Tripping over the uneven, cracked surfaces, he stumbled. The muscles in his thighs and calves screamed, and every breath irritated his lungs so harshly he wanted to cry out. Tasting dirt and grit mixed with his salty sweat as it dripped down his face and wet his lips, he would have given anything for water—cold, sweet water from the spring, not this alkaline piss. His feet pounded the stones and more pain shot up through his legs, but still he ran.

Suddenly, raucous shouting and thundering footfalls filled the air. The ground reverberated, and from the intensity he knew the marauders were coming closer. He looked right, left. If he could find a sheltered alcove, he could flatten himself against the wall and pray they'd run past and miss him. As if that would help. He knew all about praying. He'd relied on it, believed in it. But the prayers he'd offered up might as well have been spit in the gutter for the good they'd done.

"The sodomite is getting away!"

"Scum of the earth."

"Scared little pig."

"Did you defecate yourself yet, little pig?"

They laughed, trying to outdo each other with slurs and accusations. Their chortles echoed in the hollow night, lingered on the hot wind, and then, mixed in with their jeers, another voice broke through.

"Josh?"

No, don't listen. Keep going. Everything depends on getting to her in time.

A heavy fog was rolling in. He stumbled, then righted himself. He took the corner.

On both sides of him were identical colonnades with dozens of doors and recessed archways. He knew this place! He could hide here in plain sight and they would run by and—

"Josh?"

The voice sounded as if it was coming to him from a great blue-green distance, but he refused to stop for it.

She was waiting for him…to save her…to save their secrets…and treasures….

"Josh?"

The voice was pulling him up, up through the murky, briny heaviness.

"Josh?"

Reluctantly, he opened his eyes and took in the room, the equipment and his own battered body. Beyond the heart rate, blood oxygen and blood pressure monitor flashing its LED numbers, the IV drip and the EKG machine, he saw a woman's worried face watching him. But it was the wrong face.

This wasn't the woman he'd been running to save.

"Josh? Oh, thank God, Josh. We thought…"

He couldn't be here now. He needed to go back.

The taste of sweat was still on his lips; his lungs still burned. He could hear them coming for him under the steady beat of the machines, but all he could think about was that somewhere she was alone, in the encroaching darkness, and yes, she was afraid, and yes, she was going to suffocate to death if he didn't reach her. He closed his eyes against the onslaught of anguish. If he didn't reach her, he would fail her. And something else, too. The treasures? No. Something more important, something just beyond his consciousness, what was it—

"Josh?"

Grief ripped through him like a knife slitting open his chest, exposing his heart to the raw, harsh reality of having lost her. This wasn't possible. This wasn't real. He'd been remembering the chase and the escape and the rescue as if they had happened to him. But they hadn't. Of course they hadn't.

He wasn't Julius.

He was Josh Ryder. He was alive in the twenty-first century.

This scene belonged sixteen hundred years in the past.

Then why did he feel as if he'd lost everything that had ever mattered to him?

***

Rome, Italy—the present Tuesday, 6:45 a.m.

Sixteen feet underground, the carbine lantern flickered, illuminating the ancient tomb's south wall. Josh Ryder was astounded by what he saw. The flowers in the fresco were as fresh as if they'd been painted days before. Saffron, crimson, vermilion, orange, indigo, canary, violet and salmon blossoms all gathered in a bouquet, stunning against the Pompeii-red background. Beneath him, the floor shimmered with an elaborate mosaic maze done in silver, azure, green, turquoise and cobalt: a pool of watery tiles. Behind him, Professor Rudolfo continued explaining the importance of this late fourth-century tomb in his heavily accented English. At least seventy-five, he was still spry and energetic, with lively, coal-black eyes that sparkled with excitement as he talked about the excavation.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT READ! GREAT CONCEPT

    The Reincarnationist is a very fast-paced, suspenseful, exciting read. Others reviewers have written an excellent synopsis of the book, so I'd just add that after having read numerous books on reincarnation, as well as my own personal experience with the subject, I thought that Ms. Rose did her homework. Her characters show how our past lifetimes often intertwine with the present, and she brings fate and destiny into question. Are we fated to experience a specific outcome in this lifetime, or do we have freewill? <BR/>I agree with some comments that it was a bit difficult to follow several of the characters between lifetimes. I found myself asking, "Now, who is this again?" a couple of times. The ending felt abrupt, and left me wanting to know what happened to everyone else not in the final scene, but perhaps there will be a sequel? <BR/>You certainly don't need to know anything about reincarnation, or believe in it, to enjoy the book. Overall, the complex plot had a few holes, but it was still an engaging, thought-provoking, novel.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    Terrific, thought provoking thriller

    I stayed up late finishing this book and was left with a lot to thing about. The author did a seamless job of weaving together three stories from different centuries and told each tale with pathos and credibility. Highly recommended for readers who like suspense and smart fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Less than Thrilling

    I read about a dozen chapters in this book, and realized it wasn't going to get any better. The writing is just plain mediocre, and the plot about a guy reliving a past life, including a love affair with a vestal virgin, is lame. And don't forget the 'secret treasure' that everyone wants - in other words, yet another Da Vinci Code wannabe. Wide margins and double spacing between lines are also clues that the publishers are trying to stretch a flimsy novel into more pages than it deserves. I'd give this one a pass.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2008

    Reincarnationist

    Given the fact that the author can write, I'm not giving this book one star. But, as other reviewers here have pointed out, the astounding number of loose threads and totally disappointing ending 'or lack thereof' makes this a two star book. I'm sure this is going to be a series, but even that doesn't excuse such an untidy ending. There are other authors who manage to wrap things up while still leaving one or two things a cliffhanger. Rose wraps up almost nothing, hoping to drag the reader into further books, which I for one won't have the patience to read. If you like reincarnation and are into series that have no ending, pick this up, otherwise, find something else.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Ambitious Book

    "The Rein­car­na­tion­ist" by M. J. Rose is a fic­tional story involv­ing past lives and reli­gious myth. It is the first of a series, I bought this book because I'm on a book tour for the third one.

    While on an assign­ment in Rome, pho­to­jour­nal­ist Josh Ryder expe­ri­ences strange feel­ings of déjà vu and strange mem­o­ries of a pre­vi­ous life. Josh enlists the Pheonix Foun­da­tion, which spe­cial­izes in past life research, for help.

    Soon Josh gets involved with dis­cov­er­ing an ancient tomb which he feels con­nected to. His past life expe­ri­ences help him solve present day mur­ders involv­ing mys­ti­cal artifacts.


    If I had to choose one word to describe "The Rein­car­na­tion­ist" by M. J. Rose it would be "ambi­tious". Ms. Rose fills the plot of the book with many twists and turns, as well as expla­na­tion of the com­plex sub­ject and beliefs of rein­car­na­tion.

    The pro­tag­o­nist of the story, Josh Ryder, seems to suf­fer many black­outs in which he remem­bers his past life as a pagan priest named Julius liv­ing in 391 AD. These black­outs have to move the story along until Josh suc­cumbs to his fate which is dic­tated by karma.

    While I found the story of Julius, the pagan priest, inter­est­ing, present day nar­ra­tive threw me for a loop here and there. The many char­ac­ters which the author threw mer­ci­lessly at me seem to jum­ble up towards the last quar­ter of the book and I fig­ured out the mys­tery before I fin­ished half the story.

    Over­all I liked the book, I didn't have any epiphany regard­ing rein­car­na­tion but I cer­tainly appre­ci­ated the research the author did and learned a thing or two about the sub­ject in a fun and pleas­ant way. Ms. Rose also includes a "rec­om­mended read­ing" sec­tion at the end if one would like to inves­ti­gate rein­car­na­tion more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    What happened to this story?

    The book started out great and it had the potential to have some mind blowing twists in the plot but it just fell apart. The closer I got to the end the more I wondered how the author was gonna wrap it up so quickly. Well it never wrapped up, it was full of loose holes. This book does not deliver a good reincarnation story. The author actually spent more time on explicit sex than reincarnation.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2008

    Reincarnationist

    I found this book to be very poorly written, truly superficial, and totally unbelievable. Even all of that could be forgiven, however, if not for the truly horrible ending which left nothing wrapped up and made the entire book a complete waste of time. If you really feel compelled to read this, do yourself a favor and get it at the library. Better yet, do yourself an even bigger favor and skip the book entirely.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Amazing, heart-felt

    Love these kinds of stories!!

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Good Story

    I thought the idea behind the story was excellent but the book itself was confusing to follow. There was no transition from one chapter to another and the ending left me scratching my head. Is there a sequel?

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    All the right elements

    If there is such a thing as reincarnation, wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to tap into one's past lives? What if you had the power to do that? That question drives the plot of "The Reincarnationist." It has all the right elements -- mystery, suspense, romance. M.J. Rose was able to steer the storytelling away from being obvious and cliche. The ending is especially well played. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

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  • Posted August 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very interesting

    The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose is a fast paced suspense about many lives that intertwine over centuries. Josh Ryder is a photojournalist who is caught in the blast of a bomb. Since his accident, he has been experiencing something he refers to as "lurches" in time. He is often taken back to early Christian Rome and a man named Julius. Is this man Julius really a past incarnation of the modern day Josh Ryder, or is Josh just losing his mind to hallucinations? On his journey to figure out what is going on with his sanity, Josh finds himself back in modern day Rome where he meets Professor Gabriella Chase.

    Professor Chase discovers an ancient Roman tomb believed to be the final resting place of a Vestal Virgin. From here everything gets turned upside down. Murder, kidnapping, and betrayal, and the mixing of several lives in various times keeps the main characters running in a race against the clock; both ancient and modern.

    This was a very interesting book. It explored the possibility of past lives and history repeating itself, while showing the interconnectedness of the characters. Are the villains always villains or can there be redemption for wrongs righted? And are the seemingly good really good?

    The easy prose and style of this writer made the story easy to read, and the character development was done fairly well. There were a couple of holes that I would have preferred to have filled in, but having more background wasn't integral to the story. Overall, I really liked this book.

    On a scale of 1-4, I give this book a 3, because of my desire to have more back story on a couple of characters, and because I would have preferred a more concrete ending.

    This book was published by Mira Books.
    ISBN: 978-0-7783-2420-1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

    "The Reincarnationist" by M.J. Rose, review by Patti Phillips

    A blinding flash from an explosion sends photojournalist Josh Ryder back into another era and into the life he left behind, over 1600 years ago. When he recovers from his near fatal injuries, he is back in the present, but his 21st century life has changed forever.

    "The Reincarnationist" takes the reader on a quest to get to the root of Josh's desperately disturbing images, a quest that uncovers a forbidden love in the time of ancient Rome and secrets which could change how the past merges with the present. Secrets for which people are willing to kill, no matter what the century.

    Meticulously researched, "The Reincarnationist" delivers. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, you will be intrigued by the plotting, the characters and the flashbacks between the centuries. And, you will completely believe that love has the power to reach across the ages to bring answers to the future that must be revealed.

    I have a moviegoer's approach when reading a work of fiction. I see the action and hear the dialogue as if I'm sitting in a movie theater and I become immersed as if I'm one of the participants. If the scenes don't come alive for me, the author has left something on the editing floor.

    In the case of "The Reincarnationist," M.J. Rose has created an emotional, mental and visual canvas, a work easily transferred to the small or large screen. I hope that one day a movie producer will see the potential in this intelligent, fascinating tale. I'd love to have the DVD next to the book on my shelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2010

    Could have been soooo much better!

    I was expecting so much more from this book. The characters were, to me, one dimensional, or too predictable. The plot and story line COULD have been so much more interesting had the author taken time to actually develop it, but I simply came away feeling, well, cheated. Probably will not purchase any of the other books. Sorry.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    The Reincarnationist by M. J. Rose

    This is a very clever and very interesting book. The plot weaves through different eras and different stories to create a unique and intriguing story that captures one's attention and doesn't let go. I highly recommend this book for anybody who likes both history and intrigue.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    the Reincarnationist, Series #1 - Awesome!

    Even if you find the subject of reincarnation uncomfortable, this book is a veritable history lesson....and the reader is right in the middle. the style is fast-paced, intelligent and never lets you lose interest. I'm definitely moving on to the next series books....couldn't put this one down!

    ZenReader

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    Awful book.

    The characters were so cookie-cutter and cliche that I had a hard time developing any real care about them. The reincarnation thing could've been played soooo much better. The plot was completely affected by the way that it was written. Flashing to characters from the relative beginning and then not seeing them until the end was confusing and unnecessary. There was a lot of unnecessary and confusing scenes. I got so frustrated that I gave up, and read the ending after going 3/4 of the way through it. SO CLICHE!!! The idea of this topic, and even the plot, I suppose, is awesome and original, but the writing, itself, destroyed the book.

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Reincarnating your soul to believe

    This page-turning wonder delves squarely into the belief of reincarnation in such a smart way, even a non-believer would sit up & take notice. This book incouraged me to reach further, and nab it's sequel,"The Memorist", which is equally mesmorizing. Both books tap boldly into the reader's consciousness,provoking further thought into Einstein's theory of timelessness.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    Great writing ruined by unresolved ending

    This book was well written and extremely engaging. Unfortunately, the ending ruined the entire book. I knew the villain around page 250 and hoped it was something that was so obvious it had to be a red herring. Nope. The ending? Pointless. Things I was waiting to be resolved - including the main plot point of the book - are never resolved. Instead, the ending had a history that repeated itself that had already ended well the first time around. Why?

    I was planning on buying the next book but I've learned my lesson from this one. What's the point of writing a book and not resolving the main point of the story? This is so frustrating. I feel like I wasted time better spent watching paint dry. At least I know that at the end the paint will be dry. The paint is still wet on this book and I hate the shade that it developed into.

    If you like reading well written books that go nowhere, plots that are created to pointlessly be resolved and a highly unsatisfactory ending, this book's for you. Otherwise, head directly to the nearest Home Depot and buy that paint. One way or the other, it'll be dry at the end.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What can I say about The Reincarnationist besides FABULOUS?

    After an accident in Rome, photojournalist Josh Ryder begins experiencing flashes of past memories?from another life, another era. As these flashes intensify, he's drawn back to the time of ancient Rome, Vestal Virgins and the mysterious Memory Stones. Through the eyes of Julius, he is reunited with a powerful love for Sabina, the Vestal Virgin he has sworn to protect and would willingly die for, a woman whom would be buried alive if their secret love were ever discovered.

    In present day Rome, Josh assists at the Phoenix Foundation, an organization that explores and researches claims of reincarnation or incidences of memory flashes, especially in children. Led by impulse, he finds himself at the edge of a freshly unearthed tomb and witnesses a murder.

    His search for answers, for the Memory Stones stolen from the tomb of the Vestal Virgin Sabina, for the truth about what happened in ancient Rome, leads him to two women?Professor Gabriella Chase and Rachel Palmer, a young woman who is haunted by her own past life memories.

    Is either of these women the Sabina he once knew? And will Josh ever reconcile his past with his present? These are just some of the questions I found myself asking along the way. I found the premise of this novel intriguing. I couldn't put the book down once I started it.

    Author M.J. Rose tells a compelling story that weaves history and religion into a fateful adventure filled with intrigue, romance, murder and deception. Her writing is detailed but not overloaded, just the right mix of fact and fiction to make me a believer and her characters are ones I'll remember for a long time. The flashes of past and present are so seamlessly woven yet clearly defined, that I was never jolted from the story, but swept along and taken on a ride that left me breathless by the end.

    I highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in the theory of reincarnation or anyone who enjoys a suspenseful, thrilling journey to the past. It would also make an exceptional read for a book club.

    The Reincarnationist is the inspiration for a new television series that will be airing soon. I can't wait to watch Past Life. If it is anything like M.J. Rose's novel, it is going to be an adventure of a lifetime.

    ~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
    author of The River

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Escape

    Fun book, great escape reading, nice change of pace. I gets old having the same authors over and over on Barnes and Noble. Bought the book for two friends they also enjoyed it very much.

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