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The Reincarnationist Mass Market Paperback – February 16, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Best known as an author of erotic thrillers, Rose (Lip Service) delves into religious myth and past-life discovery in her well-paced ninth novel. In present-day Rome, a terrorist bomb explosion triggers flashbacks of pre-Christian Italy in photographer Josh Ryder. Josh experiences the memories as Julius, a pagan priest defending the sacrosanct monuments of his gods and the life of his vestal virgin lover against the emperor-mandated onslaught of Christianity in A.D. 391. Six months later, Josh has teamed with the Phoenix Foundation, an institute specializing in past-life memories in children, to explore a newly excavated tomb that may contain pagan memory stones that incite past-life regressions and will, by proving the existence of reincarnation, challenge the church. The stakes rise after it becomes clear that dangerous outside forces also want the stones. In a series of memory lurches, the narratives of Josh and Julius slowly wind together to reveal a Da Vinci Code–esque tale of intrigue that's more believably plotted and better meets its ambitions than Dan Brown's ubiquitous book. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After a bomb explosion nearly kills photojournalist Josh Ryder, he begins experiencing flashbacks—or, perhaps, memories—of events that seem to have happened to him 1,600 years earlier, in another life. Convinced these episodes aren't figments of his imagination, he enlists the aid of the Phoenix Foundation, a group that specializes in past-life research. Later, when he becomes involved in the unearthing of an ancient tomb—and experiences a connection with its long-buried resident—Josh realizes he has a chance to right a wrong that happened a millennium and a half ago, not to mention an opportunity to solve a series of modern-day murders. This is one of those books that succeeds in spite of itself: even though the writing is merely competent, the story itself is so appealing that you can't stop reading. Josh Ryder is a difficult character to pull off (among other things, he's a man in love with a woman who lived 1,600 years ago), and at times he comes off a little loopy. But for the most part he, like the novel itself, is surprisingly well grounded in the real world. Pitt, David --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Reincarnationist
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Reprint edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778328279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778328278
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,199,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her blog, Museum of Mysteries at

Her photo was taken by Judith Pushett utilizing an old relic: a turn-of-the-century 11 x 14 inch wood camera.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Her most recent novel THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and her next novel, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS will be released March 2015.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors -

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president..

Customer Reviews

Too many characters with little character development.
Nicole McMullen
I thoroughly enjoyed The Reincarnationist from cover to cover and I highly recommend this book.
I really wanted to like this book, but I stopped reading it about 145 pages in.
J. Austin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while a good audio book provides me with the motivation I need to spur on my daily cardio exercise. When I saw M. J. Rose's "The Reincarnationist" available as a download for my iPod, the type of story (thriller), its theme (reincarnation) and its overall length seemed to fit the bill.

I wasn't disappointed--not really although the reader's usage of the same Italian accent for both male and female players did grate on my nerves somewhat. Ms Rose tries extremely hard to provide her reader (in this case, listener) with a plotline filled with the inevitable twists and turns necessary to categorize "The Reincarnationist" as a tale of suspense. As I am not aware if Rose herself has a belief in the complicated and controversial topic of reincarnation, I trust she has a healthy interest in it as she explores it in a meandering questing manner through the burgeoning enlightenment of her main character, photographer Josh Ryder that suggests like most of us she has more questions than answers.

Josh seems to be a believer, or is he? After a near collision with death during the detonation of a terrorist bomb, Josh is endowed with the ability to see auras over the heads of certain subjects as he views them through his camera lens. Although he cannot capture this nimbus effect on film, he does sense that it is indicative of a vital mystery of which he specifically needs understanding. In the same sense, sadly, Rose does not imbue Josh with any great insight regarding the hows and whys of reincarnation. He muddles along attempting to understand what is happening to him, but like Rose or anyone else, never quite puts it all together.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on September 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I wanted very much to enjoy THE REINCARNATIONIST, but I had some serious problems with it.

While some reviewers have openly compared this novel to THE DA VINCI CODE, I felt that THE REINCARNATIONIST was not nearly as well plotted. For the most part, this novel lacks a real sense of narrative drive. Whatever you think of Dan Brown's writing skills, he knows how to produce a novel with a tight plot and a lightning fast pace. THE REINCARNATIONIST's pace is largely placid, with a multitude of flashbacks that slow the action down even further.

An even more serious problem with THE REINCARNATIONIST is the characterization, which lacks depth. Throughout this novel, Rose repeatedly jumps from character to character, and from time period to time period, and I couldn't care less about any of the major players in the story. Josh Ryder, the main character in this book, is something of a cypher. He has very little personality outside of his reincarnation memories, and I didn't find him even remotely interesting as a person.

Lastly, this book teaches nothing new about the concept of reincarnation. The whole novel's plot revolves around a set of "Memory Stones" that may allow the holder to reach back to their past lives. But as Rose admits in her afterword, these stones are a complete fiction and have no historical basis in fact. So if you're expecting to learn something new and profound about reincarnation, lower your expectations.

Rose does do a good job, however, of painting a picture of Ancient Rome and how the pagan religions operated during that time. I thought the flashback scenes in 391 AD were the best and most interesting part of the novel.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By CT Adams & Cathy Clamp (aka Cat Adams) on August 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Josh Ryder has a knack for showing up in strange places, accompanied by a feeling of deja vu and impending danger. Therapists tried to convince him it was the aftermath of a near-fatal accident, but he's starting to believe otherwise. Now he just needs to prove it.

Drawn by forces he barely comprehends, Josh finds himself at an archaeological dig outside of Rome, Italy . . . a place he shouldn't have been able to find unless he'd been there before. Professors Chase and Rudolpho have uncovered what they believe is the find of the century. While the "Memory Stones" have value as the massive gemstones they are, their true worth is only legend. But, if true, they could change the face of organized religion and humanity as we know them today.

As Josh and Gabriella Chase, along with Josh's mentor, Malachai Samuels, begin the task of tracking down the stolen Memory Stones, Josh's visions seem to be sucking him inside more often---as though a former self is trying desperately to send a message from the past to save the future.

M.J. Rose's latest novel, The Reincarnationist, is easily the most complicated book I've read in years. Yet, Rose seamlessly blends three separate stories from across the centuries, including a host of characters, into an entrancing tale of love, deceit and hope for the future. Whether as Josh Ryder in the twenty-first century, Julius of Rome in 391 A.D., or Percy Talmage of New York City in 1884, the hero is independent, smart and willing to sacrifice to protect those he loves.

I can't say enough good things about this book for someone who's looking for a challenging, thoughtful read that will leave you breathless at the surprise ending
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