Customer Review

165 of 183 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressing; not for me, August 27, 2013
This review is from: The Returned (Hardcover)
I really wanted to like this novel, but it's rather depressing and, truth be told, I never really made a connection with the characters. This is a very finely written piece, don't get me wrong, but my questions were never answered. Why the returned come, what their purpose is, where they go when they disappear... I just don't know, and that was the main reason I picked up this novel; I wanted to know.

Instead, this novel focuses on the appearance of the dead (not zombies, mind you), and how the world decides to react to such an anomaly. However, no one has answers, so it's more or less the blind leading the blind, with some embracing the dead, some detesting it, and others ready to lock them up forever. Like I said, it's a very depressing tale. We learn how the government decides to handle it, which isn't very well, more like the Japanese Internment Camps than anything else, and we get to know characters... only to watch them traverse terrible atrocities and, ultimately, die. But why they emerged from the earth again, and what their purpose was aside from driving the story, well, I don't know.

What I did enjoy about the novel, though, was that the chapters break up to follow certain characters, even though it's told in third person, and we meet new returned and hear their brief stories. But again, it is all very tragic, and truthfully, I felt somewhat awful upon finishing it; angry with humanity. But maybe that was the purpose? People can turn evil, which is shown in this novel in very real sense, and while there are some good people interspersed, I really came out of this with a depressed soul and a feeling of disillusionment with humankind.

Overall, it's very well written, but such a depressing tale isn't really my speed. I guess I was hoping for mystery and danger, a sense of horror or something, but that's not what this novel is about, and it just wasn't for me.

(Please note: I use the rating system of Goodreads, which is different from Amazon. My overall personal rating is that this novel was okay.)
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2013 2:17:07 PM PDT
Label this review "Spolier Alert" - why read the book now??

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 3:46:37 PM PDT
SanFran JT says:
Very good review that really gave me a sense of the emotional impact the novel had on you. The way you described your feelings regarding the book was quite helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review.

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 8:09:10 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2013 8:09:27 PM PST
The Bell Jar says:
It's a very well written review but full of spoilers with no warning which is no good.

Posted on Mar 2, 2014 11:40:23 AM PST
S. Martin says:
As the review poster probably knows by now, this book has been made into a TV series, which is about to start. I was interested in the book. Truthfully, even without nefarious plots (zombies, some kind of cloned star men, whatever), the idea of the dead returning to life is just not natural. Not saying I wouldn't want to speak to my mother again! But it's not the natural order of life. And if nice, good people could return, what stops very bad people that we don't miss? So it bothers me on a certain level that I don't know if I can watch the show, especially if the ending is not different than the book's, the returned people suffer and die (so the poster says, I haven't read the book) and you get no answers. Yeah, I know it's a fantasy. I don't like to read or watch depressing shows/books.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2014 3:50:31 PM PDT
mrsfields says:
I'm glad it had the spoiler as for me the main reason I wanted to read the book was the same as for the author and if it doesn't give any answers and plus depressing I"m glad I didn't waste money on the book

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 4:37:08 PM PDT
daniv says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 9:17:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 26, 2014 9:19:53 PM PDT
Honey says:
I looked up the book to find reviews on Amazon because I started watching the show "Resurrection" on ABC. Frankly, for me, from this review this reeks of the series "LOST" and I don't want to be sucked into that disaster again. If you spent all that time watching LOST then you know what I mean.

Posted on Apr 7, 2014 1:57:05 PM PDT
Has anyone thought that maybe the book ends the way it does because the author left it open to write a sequel? That's what I am thinking, and I hope I am right!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2014 9:50:20 PM PDT
mzcatjo says:
Funny you should mention Lost. I was so upset at the ending that I could've screamed. All that time invested in the show and the ending was a total letdown. I'm thinking with Resurrection maybe there will be a better payoff than the book delivers. Though I don't see the writers veering too far away from the original storyline.

Posted on May 17, 2014 3:30:41 AM PDT
I agree that your review should have contained a 'SPOILER ALERT" (see, that what they look like) warning. It's really ruins it for those who want to read a book to have a reviewer inconsiderately give the entire blooming plot and ending away without forewarning. That said, you did save me from reading the novel because I too wanted answers to the whys, purpose and end game of the returned. Like another reviewer suggested, I hope the author is planning a sequel that will answer these questions. Because if this becomes one of those "it was all a dream" sort of scams then the network, as well as the author, will lose all creditably as far as I am concerned. I also watched Lost, thankfully on Nex Flix, but the ending was still very disappointing.
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